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'Logan' sneak peek: Will more superhero films shoot for R rating?

The 'X-Men' movie 'Logan' is set to be released this March. Producer Simon Kinberg has said the film will be rated R, a decision that was also embraced by those behind this year's hit superhero film 'Deadpool.'

Charles Sykes/Invision/AP
Hugh Jackman attends the Broadway opening of 'After Midnight' in New York in 2013. Jackman stars in the film 'Logan.'

A trailer has been released for the upcoming “X-Men” film “Logan,” which will center on the superhero Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) and will reportedly be rated R following the success of this year’s R-rated superhero film “Deadpool.”

The plot of “Logan” follows the common superhero theme of a reluctant hero conscripted to save a damsel in distress that plays out in many comic books. But the film breaks from the tradition of catering to younger audiences by reportedly aiming for an R rating.

"Logan" stars Mr. Jackman as Wolverine, who has to be coaxed by his mentor Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) into helping a young girl.

“Someone will come along,” Wolverine tells Professor Xavier.

“Someone has come along,” Professor Xavier replies. 

In addition to starring in various “X-Men” films, including the 2014 box office hit “X-Men: Days of Future Past,” Jackman has portrayed the character in stand-alone films, including the 2013 movie “The Wolverine.”

Producer Simon Kinberg told Collider earlier this year that “Logan” “is an R-rated movie. It’s violent, it’s kind of like a Western in its tone.” 

An R-rated superhero movie was somewhat unusual before this year. The 2009 Warner Bros. movie “Watchmen” was R-rated, as were films that were adapted from comic series like “300.” But a movie released by Marvel Studios, for example, has never been rated R, and none of the “X-Men” films from 20th Century Fox or Warner Bros. movies based on popular figures like Batman or Superman were R-rated. 

This year’s hit “Deadpool,” however, was. The movie was based on an “X-Men” character and was released by 20th Century Fox. The film became a smash hit and is currently the domestically fifth-highest-grossing movie of the year. 

Some industry watchers predicted that the success of “Deadpool” would make an R rating more of a possibility for superhero movies in the future. Mr. Kinberg conducted his interview in which he said “Logan” would have an R rating three months after the release of “Deadpool.” 

Following “Deadpool” becoming a hit, Business Insider writer Kirsten Acuna wrote that “it paves the way for other R-rated superhero movies.”

Thom Geier of TheWrap, however, wrote, “There simply aren’t many name-brand superhero movies who lend themselves to an R-rated adaptation. Sure, the DC Movie Universe is thematically darker than the Marvel Cinematic Universe but don’t expect Warner Bros. to start making R-rated Batman movies. Superheroes are meant to inspire, and children and teenagers are every bit as important as adults when it comes to the audience for these films.”

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