Hugh Jackman is currently doing press rounds for Shawn Levy’s Real Steel, which means he’s constantly being asked about The Wolverine. After a rocky start, James Mangold is set to direct the sequel to 2009’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine, which will take place mostly in Japan. Jackman recently talked to Steve a bit about how much of Darren Aronofsky’s original version of the script is intact in this new iteration, and now the actor has revealed that there’s a possibility that we might see an R-rated version of the film:
“James Mangold and I talked about [an R-rated version] and we’re like ‘Look, let’s not put it off the table.’ There’s even talk about us doing two versions, as in finding a way to do both while you shoot it, which could be really cool. But you need to have a really good reason to exclude those fans.”
We got a glimpse of a NSFW Wolverine with Jackman’s glorious cameo in X-Men: First Class, so I think everyone would agree that an R-rated Wolverine would be a very good thing. Hit the jump to see what else Jackman had to say about the possibility of going R.
Honestly, the fact that Jackman and Mangold have seriously discussed making an R-rated Wolverine is pretty damn surprising. Most directors wouldn’t even float the possibility of making an R-rated version of a big-budget franchise film, let alone a sequel to a PG-13 original. Mangold definitely deserves some credit for not taking the idea off the table. Speaking with MTV, Jackman said that he’s always been fascinated by the idea of an R-rated iteration of the character:
“There is such great temptation to make an R-rated Wolverine. I’ve always felt that, I know a lot of fans would like that, and if there’s ever gonna be a superhero that’s gonna be R-rated it’s Wolverine.”
As great as this sounds, it’s extremely unlikely that an R-rated cut of The Wolverine will be the one hitting theaters. Besides the fact that it significantly lowers the gross ceiling for the studio, Jackman talked about the many, many younger kids (10, 11, 12) who look up to Wolverine as a hero. Though the R-rated version of Wolverine is certainly enticing, Jackman admitted that it would be hard for him to exclude those fans.
Best case scenario, I’m hoping that Mangold and Jackman go ahead and shoot the R-rated version of The Wolverine and release it as a separate cut on the Blu-ray/DVD. Though it would be insanely cool/ballsy for the theatrical cut to be R, it’s definitely not expected. Interviewer Josh Horowitz brought up how Christopher Nolan has been able to make his Batman films extremely dark while still adhering to the PG-13 rating, and Jackman commented that that will definitely be their goal:
“What’s R-rated about him is, yeah he’s violent but it’s his attitude that’s the coolest thing about him. So if you can be inventive and find a way around those laws, we’ll try and do it.”
All in all, it sounds like Jackman and Mangold are cooking up a pretty cool Wolverine pic. Production on the film is set to get underway later next year after Jackman wraps Les Miserables.
Here’s the video of the interview: