Ever since Deadpool blew up the box office like Negasonic Teenage Warhead snorting gun powder, the Internet has been buzzing with other comic book properties that might get the R-rated treatment. True, no one wants to see an R-rated Spider-Man movie where he and Crusher Hogan (or Bonesaw McGraw) are strippers instead of wrestlers.
But the most pervasive online rumor at the moment is for Wolverine 3, which is rumored to be adapted from Mark Millar’s story Old Man Logan. Is an R-rated Wolverine a good idea? Would a PG-13 version of Old Man Logan seem watered down? Are fans growing tired of hearing SNIKT and watching army guys drop? Consider some thoughts.
First, Old Man Logan is a very gory comic, as expected from ‘Kick @$$’ scribe Mark Millar. But many of the main characters in that storyline are owned by Marvel Studios, not 20th Century Fox. They are from the Avengers side of things (Hulk, Red Skull, Hawkeye etc.). Could those characters be replaced in a film adaptation? Yes, much in the way Marvel Studios is doing Civil War without every character that was in the comic. And trying to use the Inhumans to replace the X-Men in the “hated and feared by the world” section of the MCU. That being said, would making an R-rated Wolverine movie and alienating younger fans (at least for the theatrical release) be best for the future of the franchise? Well, if this is Hugh Jackman’s last turn as Wolverine, it may be more of a “let’s go out with bang” kind of thing…with Deadpool’s success being icing on the cake for the studio.
It all comes down to what is best for the story. Opinions may differ on whether Old Man Logan would still be a decent story without the gore (or the scene where Logan tears apart a cow), but that is what any film in any genre is supposed to be about…story. Special effects, sex appeal, gore and anything else that may potentially attract an audience to the film in the first place is secondary to the “meat and potatoes” of the film.
The last Wolverine film showed far more blood than previous X-Men films, but it was a rare example of blood being part of the story. Wolverine lost his healing power and the blood that they showed made the point that he wasn’t healing as fast as he used to. And Wolverine 3 is rumored to have the same director. Would Old Man Logan (or the version that they come up with after replacing all the Avengers characters) still be just as good with less gore? Or are the fanboys clamoring for an R-rated Wolverine just looking for horror movie-type thrills shoehorned into a superhero movie? And speaking of horror movies…
You know those action figures that they sell in more “adult” toy stores, like Newbury Comics or Spencer’s, some of which are from horror movies like Freddy and Chucky? Yes, the ones from Todd MacFarlane’s company. Well, before Deadpool, those were the only places that you could see R-rated films advertised in the toy department. There were no ‘Fifty Shades of Barbie’ in mainstream department stores’ like Wal-Mart or Target. However, years before Deadpool hit movie theatres, there have been plush Deadpools (right next to plush Spidey and plush Wolverine) in Toys-R-Us and the like. And, a week before the film’s release, the Target that I frequent was pushing all of their plush Deadpools to the ends of the aisles to get the most eye-traffic.
So, an R-rated Wolverine would present a unique opportunity for the studio. Gone are the days when parents of six-year-olds complain about Jurassic Park toys because the film is PG-13. Well, gone are the days when they are taken seriously anyway. An R-rated Wolverine movie would inherently result in a unique marketing perk, as all unsold Wolverine merchandise is pushed to the front of toy stores across the country to advertise something that could never be advertised in a toy department years ago. Then again, the kids will have to actually pay money to see something else and theatre-hop, like under 17 Deadpool fans did with Zoolander 2. So, what’s the point?
What do you think? Are you looking forward to an R-rated Wolverine film? Can Old Man Logan be faithfully adapted to the big screen with many of its characters sidelined? Sound off in the comments.