'X-Men: Apocalypse': Why fans are also talking about this 'X-Men' film

'Apocalypse' will arrive in theaters later this month, but some are already interested by the news that the 2017 'Wolverine' film starring Hugh Jackman will be rated R.

Kerry Hayes/20th Century Fox
Hugh Jackman (r.) and Halle Berry (l.) star in 'X-Men: The Last Stand.'

The newest entry in the “X-Men” series, “X-Men: Apocalyse,” will arrive in theaters later this month, but some are already looking ahead to a future, possibly more-violent-than-usual “X-Men” film.

“Apocalypse” will be released on May 27 and stars James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, and Oscar Isaac. Since the 2011 movie “X-Men: First Class,” which kicked off a prequel series, the series has brought on more and more new actors to play these younger versions of “X-Men” characters. “Apocalypse” introduces new players such as Sophie Turner, Kodi Smit-McPhee, and Alexandra Shipp as young versions of Jean Grey, Nightcrawler, and Storm, respectively. 

The story centers on how the characters deal with the villain Apocalypse (Mr. Isaac), who recruits characters such as Magneto (Mr. Fassbender) and Storm to his cause. 

The movie arrives following the success of “First Class” and the 2014 movie “X-Men: Days of Future Past.”

However, another “X-Men” movie is also currently making news. Producer Simon Kinberg recently discussed an upcoming “X-Men” film based around the character Wolverine, who is played by Hugh Jackman. Unlike past “X-Men” installments – and most superhero movies – Mr. Kinberg says the upcoming movie will be rated R.

“It is an R-rated movie,” he said in an interview with the film website Collider. “It’s violent. It’s kind of like a Western in its tone.” 

Traditional wisdom holds that blockbusters, a category which usually includes superhero films, would try to be rated PG-13. As Todd Cunningham of TheWrap noted in 2013, “The biggest box-office money-makers, like ‘Iron Man 3’ or ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire,’ are purposefully PG-13 to connect all ‘four quadrants’ – both young and old, and men and women. If a film is rated R, you’re eliminating the young crowd (mischievous teen theater-hoppers notwithstanding).” 

The superhero film “Deadpool,” which was released earlier this year, defied that logic, with the R-rated movie becoming the highest-grossing movie of the year domestically so far. 

Reports say the studio behind the “Wolverine” film was already thinking about an R rating. “[Hugh Jackman] always intended to up the intensity factor in his final turn as Wolverine, even before the stunning box-office performance of the R-rated 'Deadpool,’” Hollywood Reporter writer Pamela McClintock wrote. 

But the success of “Deadpool” likely didn't discourage this thinking.  

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