As the superhero genre evolves and changes, some heroes still retain their shine. Perhaps the most successful solo character to rise from Marvel movie adaptations, Wolverine, in one such character. Fans delved into the complex hero's past in 2009's X-Men Origins: Wolverine and saw his inner struggle in 2013's The Wolverine. Now, they're about to experience a gritty, post-apocalyptic Wolverine with the upcoming Logan.
Due to the mass appeal of superhero films, it's rare to see studios let their movies slip by with an R rating, but 20th Century Fox has done just that with this last solo Wolverine flick. The movie is sticking with its R rating, announced earlier this year. This would seem like a risky move, if the studio hadn't landed the highest-grossing R-rated movie in box office history with last year's raunchy hero comedy Deadpool. It's fitting to see both films go this route, since each of their respective protagonists have faced off several times in both the comics and movies. In fact, Deadpool creator Rob Liefeld thinks that Logan is going to continue the success of its R-rated predecessor.
In an interview with Splash Report, comic artist Liefeld spoke about the upcoming film, and why he believed it would be a success. Regarding the film's R rating, he said:
"I think yeah, Logan for sure is going to I think be the most successful and most beloved of the Wolverine films and the betrayal of Logan, and again that continues, that will pry the door wide open to Arm. I’ve heard, 'Well, that was just Deadpool.' ... When I grew up the movies me and my buddies went and saw from high school, throughout early college and young adult, were movies made [by] Paul Verhoeven, movies that starred Schwarzenegger, Stallone, Van Damme, Mel Gibson, Bruce Willis. People forget, every Die Hard was an R rated movie."
He also spoke to the effect of comic book film adaptations on their in-print forebears:
"Fox has found great success with Deadpool and I believe Logan will build on that, but if I’m Disney, I mean look at them. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, it’s going to blow up. ... I think comic book films continue to serve as a great commercial for the comic book business, in that like with Deadpool and Doctor Strange and Guardians of the Galaxy, those three movies alone drove people into comic book stores in droves looking to say I’d like to know more about this property."
Liefeld also says that he thinks we're working in a "golden age" of comic book adaptations, where creators are "taking the source material more seriously," and praised Logan's Western roots.
It makes sense for Liefeld to compare the success of Deadpool to the Logan's likely box office gains, since both films try to add something new to the superhero film genre. Where Deadpool played with satire and comedy, Logan will combine gritty Western genre conventions with a darker approach to herodom. Liefeld's in-print son Deadpool has had a few on-screen face-offs with the legendary Wolverine, most notoriously in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, where Ryan Reynolds played the hero for the first time. Reynolds also gives several coy shoutouts to the old hero in the solo Deadpool movie, including a hilarious scene where he wears a paper Wolverine mask.
20th Century Fox is definitely taking a risk by putting out an R-rated Wolverine movie, but it's one that will almost certainly pay off. Not only did Deadpool set the scene for future financially viable R-rated hero films, it also paved the way for superhero movies that want to bend the genre. Logan's fusion of superhero film and Western is undoubtedly one that will interest viewers, especially given the success of other Western-fusion media like The Walking Dead and Westworld.
All in all, this year is shaping up to be a revelatory one for the superhero genre. Between the first female-led hero film, Wonder Woman, and fellow genre-bender Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Logan is in good company. We just have to wait and see if the film can really hold its own at the box office.
Source: Splash Report