Why 20th Century Fox Was So Concerned About ‘Logan’

Logan doesn’t just mark the end of Hugh Jackman’s tenure as Wolverine, but it’s already been teased, and confirmed by the film’s red band trailers, that it will possess a lot more violence than his previous appearances as the character, too.

But while audiences are rather excited to see Hugh Jackman and the character of Wolverine let off his leash and cause all kinds of mayhem, it now turns out that 20th Century Fox, the studio behind Logan, were very worried by the film when they first saw how dark and mature it was.

According to Variety, this admission was made by 20th Century Fox Film Chairman Stacey Snider on Tuesday during a Q&A at the Recode Media conference in Laguna Niguel, California.

Hugh Jackman and Dafne Keen in Logan

Snider admitted during the event that after Logan was screened for the studio some executives at Fox were furious at the tone it had taken.

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

The cast and crew for Logan have been discussing how unique the film is compared to other installments to the X-Men series ever since it went into production. There was one very specific moment in the red-band trailer for Logan that didn’t just epitomize this change, but it also left die-hard X-Men fans hugely excited for the blockbuster.

This specific shot showed Wolverine’s claws piercing straight through a man’s head. During a discussion with Empire Online around the time of the trailer’s release director James Mangold admitted that shot represents the new Wolverine that Logan will depict. James Mangold then went on to divulge that Logan will feature a huge amount of similarly “visceral” and “high-octane” action scenes.

“[This represents] to me the kind of aggressive, classical Wolverine action that we want in the movie – more of something that fans have been asking for, for a really long time. We’ve been limited in one way or another from giving it to them, but I think we’ve got the go-ahead to really go for it on this picture. So we’re really trying to deliver what folks have always imagined those kind of battles would look like. There is a lot of high-octane action in the movie. We’re just trying to do it very differently and very viscerally.”

While Hugh Jackman had long teased that his tenure as Wolverine would soon come to an end, it was actually the financial success of Deadpool at the box office that paved the way for 20th Century Fox to greenlit a version of the film that would bring his reign to a conclusion in a distinctive and original fashion.

Fox chairman opens up about Logan worries

While Deadpool was met with hugely positive reviews, to such an extent that moviegoers and experts were shocked it was overlooked by the Oscars last month, it was its $783.1 million haul that really shook up the cinematic industry. Especially because it had an R-rating. Buoyed by the financial success of Deadpool, 20th Century Fox decided that it was worth a risk to make Logan R-rated, too.

As well as potentially bidding farewell to Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, Logan also features the acting talents of Patrick Stewart, Richard E. Grant, Boyd Holbrook, Stephen Merchant, and Dafne Keen. We’ll get to see if Logan can live up to the hype that has been swirling since it was confirmed that it would be R-rated when it’s released on March 3, 2017.

[Featured Image by 20th Century Fox]