Ever since Wolverine hit the big screen in 2000, fans have been yearning for a hardcore, R-rated version of the character. Hugh Jackman, who's played the hero for over a decade, says The Wolverine director James Mangold is toying with the idea of releasing a darker cut of the sequel.
By nature, Wolverine is a scrapper. He's rough, no-nonsense and a natural loner. He's not exactly family-friendly, but somehow he's managed to stay away from R-rated material in all four X-Men films (spoiler: First Class excluded). How does he do that?
Jackman says, "There's such great temptation to make an R-rated Wolverine. I've always felt that. I know a lot of fans would like that. I totally get it. If there was ever a superhero that was going to be R-rated, it's Wolverine. However, in the last 10 years, I've also met many, many, 12, 13, dare I say 10, 14, 15-year-olds who, for them, Wolverine is not just cool. You see it in their eyes. He's everything to them."
It's this youthful audience that has kept Wolverine from truly going to the dark side. There are two demographics: the older fans who want a more primal Wolverine, and the younger ones whose stomachs can't hand his raw nature. Jackman and Mangold are aware of this debate and have discussed ways to remedy the problem.
"My thing is—which James Mangold and I talked about—is let's not put it off the table," says Jackman. "There's even a talk of us doing two versions, as in finding a way for us to do both as you shoot it, which could be really cool. But you need to have a really good reason to exclude those fans."
This brings up an interesting question. Should they make two cuts of The Wolverine? Or should they stick with a PG-13 across the board?