‘Logan’ Is So Dark It Made The Studio Executives Nervous

The thing about a superhero with razor sharp claws who kills people is that, when you can only make PG-13 movies about them, those movies can’t help but feel watered down. So it went with Wolverine, a.k.a. “Logan,” one of the most popular comic book characters in history who had to tone it down a bit in one blockbuster X-Men movie after another.

But the next Wolverine movie, Logan, is a different story. We haven’t seen it yet but it’s an R-rated dystopian film abut Wolverine, in the future, damaged and unwilling to fight until Professor X drops a strange girl off at his doorstep. The trailers make the film look downright dour. And although that may be what some of Wolverine’s fans have always wanted, it’s the kind of approach to a superhero story that made the executives at 20th Century Fox a bit nervous.

Twentieth Century Fox film chairman Stacey Snider was at the Recode Media Conference this week when she illuminated the behind the scenes debate about Logan (via Variety):

“Inside, there was real consternation about the intensity of the tone of the film, Stacey Snider said. “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?” 

Clearly, the anti-wise-cracking-cigar-chomping-mutton-sporting-Wolverine camp won out. Only time will tell if the gamble pays off, and if Logan will break the bank at the box office when it arrives on March 3, 2017. (Heck, only time will tell if it’s any good at all, really.) But it’s certainly encouraging that some studio executives are eager to take chances, and let superhero movies evolve in new and refreshing directions.

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Top Photo: 20th Century Fox

William Bibbiani (everyone calls him ‘Bibbs’) is Crave’s film content editor and critic. You can hear him every week on The B-Movies Podcast and Canceled Too Soon, and watch him on the weekly YouTube series What the Flick. Follow his rantings on Twitter at @WilliamBibbiani.