When Hugh Jackman asked his six million Twitter followers in July 2015 about what they would like to see in The Wolverine 3, the Australian actor received an avalanche of suggestions. Amongst the many repeated requests were for Jackman’s Logan to go “berserk” in the sequel, to fight Sabretooth one last time, and most especially for The Wolverine 3 to be rated R and based on the comic book story, “Old Man Logan.”
We can now confirm that at least those last two items on Wolverine fans’ bucket list are about to come to fruition.
After a sea of optimism and ambiguity swept the internet earlier this week over the possibility that The Wolverine 3 might indeed be heading for an R-rating, we have since had multiple sources close to the film confirm that, yes, The Wolverine 3 is expected to be rated R, and that it is based (probably loosely) on the beloved “Old Man Logan” saga, something that has been hinted at a number of times over the last few months.
According to separate reliable contacts, The Wolverine 3 has been targeting an R-rating since long before Deadpool’s stunning box office bow this past weekend. While that other X-Men spin-off movie grossing $132 million in three days is undoubtedly another great incentive to maintain the tone for The Wolverine 3, the filmmakers behind the mutant superhero film, including director James Mangold, have been planning for years to make a more violent farewell to Jackman’s beloved alter-ego due to the content of the “Old Man Logan” source material. While the MPAA of course makes the final determination of a film’s rating, the plan has always been to aim for an R.
Indeed, the “Old Man Logan” story by writer Mark Millar and artist Steve McNiven made waves due to its extreme nature when Marvel Comics published it between June 2008 and September 2009. Appearing in the pages of Wolverine #66-72 and Wolverine Giant-Size Old Man Logan, the grim tale takes place in an alternate universe and well into a distant, post-apocalyptic future. Within this dystopia, the United States has been taken over and divided by supervillains (and the Hulk). Magneto, Dr. Doom, and the Red Skull have split America amongst themselves after the mysterious end of the X-Men. And to make matters worse, now that Logan has a wife and two children, he refuses to unleash his claws or become “the Wolverine” again.
The comic book story is incredibly violent, featuring decapitations, brutal murders, and a hero who suffers from sudden bursts of bloodlust. It also showcases characters that are unlikely to appear in a 20th Century Fox film, such as the Hulk and Hawkeye. Nonetheless, Wolverine and the already announced return of Patrick Stewart as Professor Charles Xavier should be big enough news for X-Men movie fans.
The Wolverine 3 will likely undergo a title change before its released on March 3, 2017. In addition to marking Hugh Jackman’s final bow in his most iconic role, the film also features the return of Mangold to the director’s chair. Mangold has previously directed such memorable films as 3:10 to Yuma, Walk the Line, and Girl, Interrupted. Yet, superhero fans likely know him best as the helmer of 2013’s The Wolverine, the well received second attempt at a Wolverine movie that saw Jackman’s protagonist fly to Japan (and a fan-pleasing “Unrated Cut” on Blu-ray).
Michael Green, who wrote for NBC’s Heroes and is also working on Alien: Covenant, Blade Runner 2, and the American Gods TV series, is handling the scripting duties. The film is being produced by Lauren Shuler Donner (X-Men: Days of Future Past, Deadpool) and Simon Kinberg (X-Men: Days of Future Past, The Martian). Filming begins next month.