So the big comic book movie news that went viral today was that the makers of the forthcoming Wolverine 3 (2017) movie are “targeting an R rating”, according to Comicbook.com (and plenty of other sources). My initial reaction was one, surprisingly, of conservative preservation of the status quo.
Of course this comes on the heels of the R-rated Deadpool movie having a record-breaking February opening this past weekend. You know how Hollywood works, it’s a copycat town so of course the next Wolverine movie should be rated R, right? I presented this topic to my comics and geek culture group The Comic Book Underground on Facebook today with this opening from me:
Here we go, because Hollywood is gonna Hollywood. Wolverine is an exception, I suppose, but let’s not start making every team movie the Watchmen (insert wink emoji).
And thus, ensued a spirited for it-versus-against it conversation in regards to the upcoming Wolverine movie having certain liberties that come with an R rating, copied and pasted here, unedited (because I’m lazy):
Joe Gardner I don’t know. Wolverine SHOULD’VE been R from the get go. But now that you’ve made him PG-13, it’s going to be hard to change that. Especially if you thought the parent backlash against Deadpool was bad.
Garbiel Guerrero Why bother. An R Rated Origin is what we deserved. Too late man, game over.
Michael Tennant There is no reason you need an R-Rating for Wolverine. None at all. Never has been. Character isn’t known for using foul language or graphic sex…violence maybe but it’s not like you cannot get by with pg13
Brandon Rucker Gotta say I agree with Michael Tennant on this. To get to that rating in that kind of movie you have to be trying hard to get there which means it will be gratuitous.
Brandon Rucker James What cuss words has Wolverine uttered that would warrant an R rating? Or even the frequency? Because to earn an R rating merely on language you would have to be cussing like a Tarantino movie and dropping sexual references which Wolverine does not do. He’s not Deadpool.
Michael Tennant My favourite Wolverine graphic novel Blood Hungry would be hard pressed to get an r rating
Garbiel GuerreroI think not seeing him curse is a byproduct of being such a popular line. How many times do you get “what the….” or “holy ….” just to be interrupted by a blast or building collapse. It’s Wolverine, he’s drowned his own son, he curses.
But still not needing an r rated movie.
Joe GardnerI’m fairly certain Wolverine would be quite violent. Especially berserker rage Wolverine. THAT would warrant an R.
Brandon Rucker Well the comics are the standard, right? Plus the movies so far. Again, if you want to get into the gratuitous area that the R rating allows, fine, but it will be glaring and unnecessarily showy. One utterance of fuck doesnt earn the r-rating. Several will. When has it ever been necessary for Wolverine to utter more than necessary? He’s not a fucking sailor. Also, I’ve never walked out of any superhero movie thinking “Damn, I wish they had cussed more and shown more blood.” Because you can have intense violence sans blood and gore on a PG-13 rating.
Joshua HootenDeadpool gets an R rating and now everybody wants an R rating.
James Lawrence He’s a guy that kills people with the claws attached to his hands and doesn’t think twice about it. But cursing is out of character for him…ok Boy Scout material right there…LOL He’s not Captain America or Spider-man.
I don’t need cursing or blood but it doesn’t bother me either.
Joe Gardner All I’m saying is, if they would have started with an R, this would make sense. And you could’ve justified Wolverine with an R. Not vulgar like Deadpool, but still. And I’ve enjoyed the two movies, so the R isn’t necessary. But now that you’ve made two PG-13 movies, you’ll have a hard sell to make the third R.
Brandon Rucker James it’s not about it being a bother, it’s about whether or not it’s necessary. The possibility comes up and y’all lose your minds with need like we just gotta have it.. My opinion is we’ve gone decades without it, is it really necessary to shoe-horn it in just because we can? I could jump off my roof, doesn’t mean I should or that it’s a great idea.
James LawrenceMy only argument is that it’s 100% fitting with the character. They don’t need to shoe horn it in a final movie.
Brandon RuckerUnderstood. However the studio is “aiming for an R rating”, so, y’know. #DoinTooMuch #TryinTooHard
I’m open to any truly compelling arguments as to why Wolverine 3 needs or should be rated R.
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