Hugh Jackman’s time as Wolverine in the X-Men franchise will soon come to an end with the release of Logan next year. This is in and of itself, quite tragic, given that Jackman’s performance as the indestructible, adamantium-clawed mutant has become so iconic that it’s nearly impossible to imagine anyone else in the role. But Wolverine’s nature as an immortal superhuman that never ages makes the likelihood of Jackman continuing in the role all but impossible (then again, special effects just get better and better every year…). All fans of the X-Men films will sorely miss him. That being said, it seems Hugh Jackman wants to go out with a bang and make the film as good as it can possibly be, and that includes adding the elusive R-rating to it. Jackman was reportedly willing to make some sacrifices to ensure that this happens.
According to a tweet by Eric Vespe of Aint It Cool News, the film’s director, James Mangold followed up a special 40-minute screening of Logan by informing the attending audience that Hugh Jackman generously took a salary cut in his pay to ease the executive’s fears and convince them to give the movie an R-rating. Historically, studios tend to avoid the R-rating for big budget tentpole films, since kids would need special supervision from parents or not go at all, resulting in diminished box office returns. On the flipside, restricting a movie about Wolverine to a PG-13 movie forces them to remove all of the blood and gore that would make sense to portray in a movie about a guy that’s running around with metal blades coming out of his knuckles and slicing up bad guys like human sushi. Anything less than that is just, kind of stupid really.
This news goes to show just how much Hugh Jackman loves and cares about this character, and is dedicated to making his last entry one that honors the spirit and authenticity of Wolverine and gives him a loving sendoff in the X-Men franchise. This move is not without precedent either. Earlier this year, Deadpool broke box office records while managing to be a raunchy, expletive and violence-filled gore fest that practically DEMANDED an R-rating. Do you have any idea how great of an accomplishment that is in this age of sanitized, family-friendly superhero movies? Calling it impressive would be the understatement of the year.
My already high respect for Hugh Jackman as an actor and artist has only increased with this decision, and is something I hope more actors start doing as a method of preserving the artistic integrity of their films in the face of perpetually nervous, money-hungry studio executives that love to interfere.
Logan will open in theaters on March 3rd, 2017