‘Logan’ Director James Mangold Explains The Pros And Cons Of R-Rated Superheroes


Thanks to Deadpool and Logan, R-rated excess has emerged as a viable frontier in the ever-expanding world of superhero movies. In the case of Deadpool, it’s hard to imagine the title character’s obnoxious wit stripped of all that kid-unfriendly irreverence, but Wolverine has already starred in countless sub-R movies, tailored to fit the sensibilities of an all-ages audience. Speaking at the 2018 Writers Guild Association Beyond Words panel, Logan co-writer/director James Mangold explained why he felt the need to bring Wolverine into more provocative territory.

“You have to have a slightly off-pedal goal for your film,” he explained. “The people who are gonna go, ‘What the f*ck is that eight-minute scene between Professor X and Logan? That’s like eight minutes of two guys in a tank talking.’ And it’s like ‘Yeah. That’s not gonna change because the vibe of this movie is an adult drama.’ That’s why, for instance, we wanted an R-rating. It wasn’t because of the violence and it wasn’t because of the language.”

Currently campaigning for the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar, Mangold fearlessly alienated 11-year-old Academy members with another strong opinion. “I didn’t have to write a movie, and neither did my compatriots, for 11-year-olds,” he said. “If we had a rated-R movie, there were gonna be no Happy Meals. There can be no action figures. There was gonna be no marketing on Saturday morning cartoons or anything like it, so that suddenly you’re not making a movie written for someone under 14, 15. And that changes the length of scenes. It changes what they’re talking about.”

You can watch Mangold compete (and yes, probably lose) at the 90th Academy Awards on March 4. Check out the Logan trailer below.