There are few mainstream comic book characters who could possibly justify an R-rated film. Even fewer of those characters are bankable properties that can overcome the risk of carrying an “R.” Wolverine is one such character. Though Logan has appeared in cartoons and has done well in PG-13 action films, let’s not forget that this man knows how to get down. He’s got knives on his hands; this isn’t the type of character who specializes in temporarily incapacitating dudes. So why haven’t they made a full blown blood-fest “The Wolverine“? Well the obvious answer is money, but Hugh Jackman says that the true reason is a bit more involved than that.
“If there’s ever going to be a comic book character that deserves and could have an R-rated movie, it’s Wolverine, and I, in a way, would love to see that version of it. In the end, it won’t be. The thing about playing this character, I can’t tell you how many people I’ve met who are teenagers, it means a lot to them, this character, what he represents,” the actor told Hero Complex. “I said to [director] Jim Mangold, I said, ‘Look, we have to have a very, very good reason to deliberately exclude them because that’s what we’re saying, ‘This one’s not for you.’ ‘ We have to have a really great reason to do that, not just, ‘Oh, that would be cool.’ Tonally, this is a darker film than what has been before, but in the end we decided that’s not what we want. We don’t want to exclude them from this story, and I don’t think we need to compromise on that darker side of Wolverine’s character.”
We can respect the decision to not make an R-rated movie just for the sake of doing so. While it would be pretty sick to see an unrestrained Wolverine tear ninjas in half and spill their guts across the screen, the character has managed to remain fairly visceral and violent in previous PG-13 affairs. However, at the end of the day, the biggest issue seems to be the money. If you make an R-rated film you run the risk of singling out your biggest demographic: those damn teenagers and their disposable income.
“The Wolverine” hits theaters on July 26th and oh yeah, stick around until the ushers kick you out. “If you stay on after the credits you get to see a nice little preview for Bryan’s next film,” Jackman told ComingSoon. Fangtastic (sorry).