It looks like we’ll be seeing the after effects of Deadpool‘s success even sooner than we thought. It’s long been known that the next Wolverine film will be Hugh Jackman’s last outing as the ol’ Canucklehead. Jackman has been adamant about producing the best possible film to act as his swan song, going so far as to delay the film until he and director James Mangold feel that the script is perfect. Jackman has been flexing his creative control with Fox, and today’s news sounds like it’s going make a lot of Wolverine fans very happy.
According to an ad at Toy Fair, the new Wolverine film is anticipated to release with an R rating. Fans have long wanted a movie version of Wolverine that adheres closer in tone to works like Barry Windsor-Smith‘s essential Weapon X, and it sounds like Jackman’s final performance as Wolvie will be aiming for that. Director James Mangold had previously talked about a home release version of The Wolverine containing more violence and additional R rated content, but that didn’t exactly come to pass. The version we got had some extended footage but nothing so intense as to warrant an R rating.
There have been many rumors as to what the plot of the final Wolverine movie will be. Many have speculated that the Mark Millar/Steve McNiven series Old Man Logan will act as some sort of inspiration, but it would be a fairly thin one. Most of the characters in that story aren’t owned by Fox, so it would have to be a very loose adaptation. Regardless, it’s clear that the filmmakers are mining all the material they can in order to give Jackson a proper sendoff.
An R rating seems like an appropriate gift to give Jackman as he lets go of a character he’s played for nearly two decades. It’s obvious that Wolverine means a lot to him and that he wants nothing more than to give the fans the movie they deserve. Does an R rating guarantee that? No, but it does free up the filmmakers to make the kind of movie they want. Without having to worry about the content of what they are creating, they can concentrate on producing the best possible story. Seeing as how the last Wolverine film is only about a year away, let’s hope this freedom has worked in everyone’s favor.