Logan: Some at 20th Century Fox Rattled by Dark Tone

The 20th Century Fox chairman reveals there was internal "debate" and consternation about the dark tone of Hugh Jackman's Logan.

Let it be said, that 20th Century Fox has been taking some chances as of late with their X-Men properties. While the “mainline” X-films stay fairly straight down the middle, last year’s Deadpool was the dream movie for every dirty minded teenage comic book fan out there (and all those who still apparently keep that flame alive, judging by the box office). Now Logan, Hugh Jackman’s final bow as the feral Wolverine on the big screen, looks every bit as gritted and ponderous as Ryan Reynolds’ movie was profane and sarcastic. And at least in Logan’s case, this led to some internal strife.

According to Variety, Stacey Snider, chairman of 20th Century Fox, spent Tuesday reflecting on some of the debate within the studio about director and co-writer James Mangold’s stripped down and modern Western aesthetic.

“Inside, there was real consternation about the intensity of the tone of the film,” Snider said during a Q&A at the Recode Media conference in Laguna. “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 wisecracking, cigar-chomping, mutton-sporting Wolverine, and the debate internally became, isn’t that freakin’ boring?”

Apparently, Snider disagreed with this critique, saying, “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?”

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Having sat in for the first 40 minutes of Logan back in December, we can certainly verify it was very exciting indeed, and a welcome departure from the recent hegemony of superhero cinema. It also features Patrick Stewart as a senile Charles Xavier dropping f-bombs… which is both wrong and oh, so right. We’ll see how the rest of the movie fares when Logan opens next month on March 3.