Despite Deadpool's Success, Fox Still Second-Guessed Logan

Illustration for article titled Despite Deadpool's Success, Fox Still Second-Guessed Logan

We all know the story. For years 20th Century Fox, the controllers of the rights to all Marvel X-Men properties, was too worried to make the R-rated Deadpool. They didn’t think something that raunchy or violent could work in the superhero genre. Then, finally, after years of saying “No,” they finally said “Yes”—and $780 million later, they’re happy they did.


But it seems that even after making the right decision with Deadpool, they were equally cautious about the new Wolverine film, Logan.

Speaking at a media conference Tuesday, Fox chairman Stacey Snider explained the studio’s thinking behind the film, which opens March 3.

Inside, there was real consternation about the intensity of the tone of the film. 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 wise-cracking cigar-chomping mutton-sporting Wolverine, and the debate internally became, ‘Isn’t that freakin’ boring?’ 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?

We get the gist of this statement but the last sentence seems to contradict the one before it. Did they think the idea of “an elegy about life and death” was “freakin’ boring” or that it was “exciting” to “imagine Wolverine as a real guy?” Maybe Snider meant to say “Is” instead of “isn’t” in the final sentence. But we digress.

It is very clear, though, that the studio was worried about the intense tone of the film. And who could blame them? There isn’t exactly a model for a more grounded, almost post-superhero film about a man and a young girl. If the film was a bunch of cursing and dick jokes like Deadpool, it probably would have been okayed immediately. But on paper, Logan sounds like a risk. Some trepidation should be expected when you are gambling hundreds of millions of dollars on something new.

Still, the takeaway here is twofold. One, Snider is being honest. A studio head doesn’t have to give the public a glimpse into his or her thinking process, especially when the movie ends up getting made anyway. And that’s the second part of it: the studio made the film, and is daring to take a risk with one of its most valuable assets. On March 3, hopefully, that pays off.

We’ll have more on Logan this week when the review embargo breaks.



Entertainment Reporter for io9/Gizmodo. Formerly of Premiere, EW, Us Weekly, and Slashfilm. AP Award-Winning Film Critic and CCA member. Loves Star Wars, posters, Legos, and often all three at once.


Chairman Kaga

Deadpool was a success because it appealed to 16 year old boys. When I read Logan would go for the R due to that success I figured it would take a similar path, but fewer forced wit about facefucked a avocados and face sitting, and more gratuitous violence. And good old fashioned cussing. Honestly, I didn’t like Deadpool. The way the story was told was interesting, but the script was not nearly as smart as I was led to believe. It seemed like they just passed it through the Kevin Smith wit filter. Bottom line, despite what we’re seeing in the trailers, I don’t have much hope for Logan based on what’s come before and what’s driving this “grown up” version.

Grumpy old man, out