Hugh Jackman Discusses R-Rated Version of ‘The Wolverine’

Published 4 years ago by , Updated February 15th, 2014 at 4:26 pm,

hugh jackman r rated wolverine Hugh Jackman Discusses R Rated Version of The Wolverine

There hasn’t been much to report on The Wolverine as of late, other than Hugh Jackman’s continued assurances that the film’s script rewrites, directorial change-ups, and production delays won’t result in a final product that fails to mark an improvement on the less-than-loved X-Men Origins: Wolverine.

However, Jackman – who can currently be seen teaching robots how to box in Real Steel and is set to headline the Les Miserables musical adaptation next – recently broached a topic that should pique fans’ interest: the possibility of a R-Rated Wolverine flick.

Current Wolverine helmer James Mangold has delivered solid R-Rated and gritty thrillers in the past (see: 3:10 to Yuma, Cop Land), so it’s not a stretch to say he’s up for the task. However, given the more box office-friendly nature of PG-13 tentpole pics, it’s all but guaranteed that the theatrical cut of The Wolverine won’t bear the restricted audience rating. That doesn’t mean an alternate cut is off the table, according to Jackman.

Here is what the actor had to offer MTV, on the topic:

“There’s such great temptation to make an R-rated ‘Wolverine’. I’ve always felt that. I know a lot of fans would like that. I totally get it. If there was ever a superhero that was going to be R-rated, it’s Wolverine. However, in the last ten years, I’ve also met many, many 12, 13, dare I say 10, 14, 15 year-olds who, for them, Wolverine is not just cool, you see it in their eyes. He’s everything to them. So my thing is — which James Mangold and I talked about — is let’s not put it off the table. There’s even a talk of us doing two versions, as in finding a way for us to do both as you shoot it, which could be really cool. But you need to have a really good reason to exclude those fans.”

The Wolverine is partially an adaptation of Chris Claremont and Frank Miller’s popular 1982 Wolverine story arc, which follows the loner mutant on a deadly adventure in Japan. While that comic book mini-series is an action-packed and violent tale that could lend itself to an R-Rated adaptation – not to the same degree as, say, most Deadpool stories or Mark Millar comic books (ex. Kick-Ass) – it could still easily be translated into a PG-13 movie the same way that previous X-Men films with Wolverine were: by making Jackman’s fight scenes essentially bloodless.

Frank Millers Wolverine Hugh Jackman Discusses R Rated Version of The Wolverine

Artwork from Chris Claremont and Frank Miller's 'Wolverine' mini-series

Wolverine re-writer Mark Bomback has somewhat of a history crafting action flicks that just avoid crossing over into adults-only territory (see: Live Free or Die Hard, Unstoppable, and the upcoming Total Recall remake). The concern is that he and Mangold would fashion The Wolverine as so much of an R-Rated venture that a PG-13 version could feel noticeably edited down or “declawed” (pun intended) by comparison. That’s a criticism that’s often been made of Bomback’s Die Hard flick, in particular.

A “non-compromised” Wolverine is nonetheless something a lot of fans would be interested in – and, arguably, it’s long been a possibility, going back to when Darren Aronofsky was attached to direct. We’ll probably have to wait for the DVD/Blu-ray release to actually see what that label encompasses, though…

We will continue to keep you posted on the status of The Wolverine as more information is released (or as Jackman continues to talk about the project).

Source: MTV

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  1. i’m sure we are all thinking was there and R rated version of X-men origins?

  2. The PG-13 claims another casulty.

    Hey FOX. We’re not all 12 years old.

  3. Eh.. I think they need to relax on wolverine films.

    I’ve always thought that Remy LeBeau’s origin could be a fantastic motion picture, drawing in fans of X-Men as well as romance films.

    Those that do not know Gambit’s origin, it’s really worth looking up.

    • Just to be clear I’m talking about Gambit’s actual origin, not the crap they made up for him in XMO: Wolverine.

      • @ schuyler

        How did they cover Gambit’s origins at all really in XMO:Wolverine? He just appears in the movie really as did other mutants.

  4. I think what Jackman is talking about is doable, multiple camera angles is part of the solution. Unfortunately CG blood might be a major part unless they decide to do re-shoots of certain scenes. Some scenes being cut short for a PG-13 rating are common, love scene that goes to black at a certain point is a rather typical example. I wish they could spend the money to release it both ways in theaters simultaneously. I would pay a slight premium to get a more mature treatment. It would certainly put to rest the question, whether duel rated releases are marketable in theaters…

    • Horror movies figured this out a while ago. Release a theatrical version to keep the studio and MPAA appeased, and release an unrated directors cut on DVD. Pretty much another reason not to go to theaters, but hey they are the experts.

      • The idea may not have caught on though because a broad enough audience hasn’t been engaged. Not to say the horror niche isn’t broad but a drama released in this way theatrically would better represent how viable the idea could become. Getting to that point might need more efforts like this one to spread the idea…

      • Yeah so stupid, $20 for Dvd, $25 blu Ray, $10 movie ticket…oh wait they make more $$$. SMH….

        • Yeah I don’t think the tent pole movies are going to get cheaper to make anytime soon. I’m surprised they aren’t charging a premium to see them over other movies already. Remember it’s supply and demand.

          OOPS forgot they already found a premium niche that they’re making more cash for and short changing the customer to boot. It’s called digital I-MAX…

          • The studios would have to be both crazy and confident to charge more for a movie because it is a “tentpole” movie. Just because they spend a certain amount of money on would never justify charging more for a film compared to other films.

            • Well I would be surprised if they didn’t try some new marketing ideas. The theater economics is getting quite bleak if you believe some articles…

              • Marketing ideas really won’t help things unless they figure out the main issue is the product. If studios just keep making bad to mediocre films, slapping 3-D or some other gimmick on it, then raising tickets prices people are not going to keep supporting them.

                • Hmm quality of art is kinda subjective. The whole idea that quality can mean a more adult Wolverine story vs less adult is the issue I think. Other quality issues range so far afield that you can go on forever about it. I certainly agree with you quality is important but the widening of the subject doesn’t bring anything to bear on fulfilling an audience demand for a more adult experience…

                  • Unfortunately the movie business is not about art the majority of the time. The premiss that Wolverine first gained popularity for is more adult oriented, but due to the trend of comic book movies getting popular they think a formula has to be followed now.

                    Mentioning the Miller/Claremont storyline suggests that a movie adaption would be more adult oriented, and while that does not necessarily mean it should have horror movie levels of blood, but it does not have to look like a cartoon or aimed at ‘tweens….

                    • Well I respectfully disagree if your saying that movies don’t have art in them. They might not have art as making some kind of point, but it doesn’t mean someone in the production didn’t endeavor to put art in the work.

                      For example, their’s an art to balancing the elements in a story to account for all the ideas, emotions, and resolutions put into it. I don’t think you can take that completely away and have anything sellable. So the task becomes can you stop short when cutting a film together without interrupting the flow that appeals to any audience but take that flow further into the territory that makes a story even more whole? One of the challenges I see is minimizing re shoots to makeup for flow interruptions. If your philosophy is to hold to a singular way of presentation, which I gather you endorse, then it becomes a more limited work in the sense that you can’t achieve the goal of making a more faithful Miller/Clairmont adaptation. This is because it can’t generate the revenues necessary to cover the costs. It’s unprofitable. The question still remains though; Can you sell an audience segment a more faithful presentation and can you make a profit at it? You stated previously that horror movies were capturing that in added value to DVD releases. so it’s capturable, but is it only at one given point, after its theatrical run? Personally their are few movies I would go to the trouble to buy a DVD copy…

  5. I don´t know about you guys, but I´m sick of Jackman talking about the Wolverine movie. Unless there´s a script, he should shut up about it. Not giving semi-informations about how he wants it to be.

    • agreed

    • He sounds like a frantic person who is squabbling to salvage this character. They had the opportunity to do justice to wolverine but smucked it up and now all of a sudden they know what to do…give it up broadway jackman.

      • He likes playing the character, he’s passionate about the fans, and he appreciates their passion. Trashing him for trying to redeem a character he and lot’s of other people enjoy seems strange. Most people wouldn’t care at all. XMO messed things up, he knows it. I’m okay with giving him a chance to make it right..

        • I’m tough on all these guys. I do appreciate jackman’s passion for this character, I guess I am tired of hearing what we should have done and what we are about to do and then Fox says no mainstream won’t like it….like they know.

    • They have two scripts, or one and half at this point, just seems like they can’t settle on a shooting location or schedule. They may end up with another director at some point to if Mangold gets a job where a movie will actually get filmed. Jackman being interested could be legit or him just talking, but he’s the only one who seems to care enough to even discuss it.

      Donner and Fox have been talking about a fourth and fifth X-Men movie on top of a sequel to First Class. I doubt they have anything even resembling scripts or concepts for these movies. Depending on the whole rights issue with Marvel I don’t think they have any idea or intent as far as the X-Men movies are concerned.

    • @ Scapegoat

      I am too. Till there’s somthing concrete, why bother bringing it up right?

  6. I sense a waning interest in the x-men products.. lol…

  7. Why does it look like Jackman has the same facial hair as Dum Dum Dugan?

  8. Hmm R rated wolverine could work but it won’t make as much at the box office if it was pg 13

    • And that’s exacly why we won’t see an R-rated version until the film hits DVD/Blu-ray.

    • I call BS on that claim, which the same tired cliche hollywood uses when they think their audience dmographic is young men under 17. News flash, most of the people who grew up reading X-Men are over 18. The base for Wolverine are young men betwen 22 and 40, all over 18.

    • True, but would you pay $1.50 extra to see the R rated version in a theater? It’s all about finding a new market and servicing it. What if they didn’t release the “R” rated version on DVD for 3 months after the PG-13 version hit stores?

  9. When you delve into Wolverine’s past from Japan, you have to include ninjas, Mariko, and all of Frank Miller’s Wolverine Mini-Series comic book story. It’s one of the best semi orgins of Logan.

  10. Budget: $150,000,000 (estimated)
    Opening Weekend: $85,058,003 (USA) (3 May 2009) (4099 Screens)
    Gross: $373,062,864 (Worldwide) (1 October 2009)

    They are not going to mess with a proven formula that makes bad but money making films.

  11. I totally understand this, Wolverine does seem like an R rated character put in pg-13 rated movies; but I’m not a big fan of blood and guts so I would be happy to see a pg-13 rated version (though I probably would check out the R rated version sooner or later)

  12. The Avengers trailer dated two days ago is toting 310 comments. This Wolverine article dated two days ago is running a close second( not ) at 32 comments. Yes I agree that interest in Hugh Jackmans version of Wolverine is declining. I’m up for the reboot.

  13. Oh please “the there can’t be a rated R version because of the kids” mumbo jumbo is getting old. If a director makes a movie about wolverine and he’s not doing what he does best ( being a badass killer) then there is no point watching it. And mr jackman says that making a rated R version is excluding youngsters but what about the adult fans who like to see wolverine at his best?making pg 13 all the time is excluding the fans who know wolverine because of his brutality I understand where he’s coming from but I don’t see anything wrong with a rated R version. the “kids” can see the cut version and the adults can watch the rated R version I do find it stupid that no movie director considers keeping both parties happy.

    • Elsie, if I was a movie director, all I would make is R Rated movies just to give the PG-13 Rating the big fat middle finger, and you’re right, the PG-13 plague is getting really old, there’s some PG-13 movies that I do like such as the hobbit movies, ghost rider 2, sherlock holmes 1 and 2, the avengers, and the taken movies, but other than that, it’s getting old, that’s why I mostly stick with R Rated stuff