At some point, the X-Men franchise needed to take a gamble. On the surface, Deadpool was risky. But the film turned out to be such a huge success, it gave Twentieth Century Fox the confidence they needed to approve of James Mangold‘s Logan, the first R-rated Wolverine film to be released theatrically. Releasing a third installment of the Wolverine franchise was always a part of the studio’s plan. So in order to give Hugh Jackman a proper send-off, Mangold wanted the film to be deeply personal. Based on what we have seen throughout the marketing campaign, it looks like he accomplished that goal.
But that isn’t to say that the new direction didn’t worry studio execs. In fact, some were concerned about the film’s tonal shift. More on the story below.
Variety was at the Recode Media Conference where Twentieth Century Fox chairman Stacey Snider spoke about the concerns of the film’s intensity. Here’s what she had to say:
“Inside, there was real consternation about the intensity of the tone of the film. It’s more of an elegy about life and death. The paradigm for it was a Western, and my colleagues were up in arms. It’s not a wise-cracking cigar-chomping mutton-sporting Wolverine, and the debate internally became, isn’t that freakin’ boring? Isn’t it exciting to imagine Wolverine as a real guy and he’s world-weary and he doesn’t want to fight anymore until a little girl needs him?”
There is nothing wrong with being concerned about the film going in a radically different direction. After seeing Wolverine in nine PG-13 films, why make him go through something that’s darker and grittier? Well, a tonal shift may be exactly what the franchise needs, especially since Jackman intends to put away the claws for good after Logan. Have the character end on his terms.
Based on early reactions, this is the Wolverine movie everyone has been waiting for. It’s not every day we get to hear Charles Xavier throw some F-bombs or see Logan put his claws through someone’s head. Of course, all of the vulgar language and intense violence is just icing. The character has a new purpose in life. We’ve never seen Logan in this situation, and it is going to be a refreshing take on the character.
Ultimately, it is up to the audience to decide the film’s success, and based on what we have seen so far, it looks like they will not be disappointed.
Logan opens in theaters on March 3, 2017.