The X-Men movie universe has been growing ever since the first film hit theaters in 2000 -- and introduced Hugh Jackman's version of the iconic comic book superhero Wolverine. Jackman's take on the character has become a favorite among fans, and the actor has led two standalone features in addition to appearing in four of the main X-Men universe movies. Although X-Men Origins: Wolverine was infamously derided by critics and fans alike, James Mangold's 2013 The Wolverine won many back to the spinoff series. Now, Mangold and Jackman are set to complete the Wolverine trilogy with Logan.
Twentieth Century Fox recently unveiled the first trailer for Logan, which teased a different kind of superhero movie that follows an aging Wolverine who must care for both Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) and a young mutant named Laura (Dafne Keen). Logan is confirmed to be R-rated, with a "violent western" tone, which played well with audiences when Fox screened the first footage for press a few days ago. Now, Mangold reveals one factor that helped Logan secure the R rating.
Following a screening of footage from Logan at this year's Butt-Numb-A-Thon film marathon, Mangold told attendees that Jackman took a salary cut on the movie in order to ensure it would be R-rated, as reported by Ain't it Cool's Eric Vespe. Typically, R-rated films don't perform as well at the box office as those rated PG-13 (or under), so Jackman's paycut likely helped Fox justify the R rating for Logan from a financial perspective.
That said, reports of Logan potentially being rated R arose shortly after the theatrical release of Deadpool, an R-rated spinoff from the X-Men universe that broke box office records for both R-rated movies and X-Men cinematic universe installments. Considering Deadpool's financial success in spite of its rating -- it's currently the fifth highest grossing film of 2016, and the only R-rated movie in the top 10 -- it seems likely Fox will be able to find success with another R-rated X-Men universe film, especially since Logan stars the cinematic world's most beloved superhero.
Jackman has led a number of X-Men universe films, including all three of the original trilogy, as well as appeared in the second installment of the prequel trilogy, X-Men: Days of Future Past. The actor is as much the face of the cinematic universe as Stewart -- perhaps even moreso -- and he has stated that Logan will be his last time donning the claws and mutton chops associated with Wolverine. As such, Logan will be an event film for fans of the X-Men universe who have followed Jackman's take on Wolverine since 2000.
Still, R-rated comic book movies are a gamble for studios since they eliminate younger moviegoers from the potential audience pool. So, Logan being a smaller budgeted affair and Jackman taking the salary cut undoubtedly went a long way in allowing the actor and director to provide a unique -- and R-rated -- superhero movie. How that pays off for everyone involved remains to be seen, but early reactions to Logan may indicate another success along the lines of Deadpool.
Source: Eric Vespe
- Logan (2017) release date: Mar 03, 2017
- Deadpool 2 (2018) release date: May 18, 2018