James Mangold Explains Why Logan Had To Be R-Rated


If one was to summarize Logan in a single word, it’d probably be ‘bittersweet.’

James Mangold’s R-rated masterstroke is far and away the best Wolverine movie – standalone or otherwise – but it’s also the last. And though recent developments between Fox and Disney have spawned rumors of a potential return, Hugh Jackman’s time wielding those deadly adamantium claws is ostensibly over. Still, at least he went out on the highest note possible and a lot of that is thanks to Mangold.

The director’s vision for the film turned it into something the genre had never seen before. And we don’t just mean that because it got away with a lot more blood and profanity than its peers. True, it did have an R-rating to play with, but according to Mangold, it went that route not so that it could be a more violent movie, but so it could be a more mature one.

Speaking at the 2018 Writers Guild Association Beyond Words Panel presented by Audi in Los Angeles, he explained:

You have to have a slightly off-pedal goal for your film, and the people who are gonna go “What the fuck is that 8-minute scene between Professor X and Logan? that’s like 8 minutes of two guys in a tank talking.’ And it’s like ‘Yeah. that’s not gonna change because the vibe of this movie is an adult drama.’ That’s why, for instance, we wanted an R-rating.

Continuing on, he stressed it wasn’t because of the violence or language that he wanted a higher rating.

It wasn’t because of the violence and it wasn’t because of the language, but because I didn’t have to write a movie, and neither did my compatriots, for 11-year-olds. If we had a rated-R movie there were gonna be no Happy Meals. There can be no action figures. There was gonna be no marketing on Saturday morning cartoons or anything like it, so that suddenly you’re not making a movie written for someone under 14, 15. And that changes the length of scenes. It changes what they’re talking about.

Logan poster

Mangold’s comments here make total sense. Not having to cater to a younger audience meant that Logan could have scenes like the one the director highlights. Yes, an R-rating does obviously mean more blood, gore, violence, strong language, etc., but it also ensures that no children stumble into the theater and as such, the film doesn’t have to worry about pleasing them with the usual comic book movie formula – which doesn’t include 8-minutes of two guys talking in a tank.

In related news, Logan is now officially an Oscar nominee, and is in the running for Best Adapted Screenplay alongside such awards heavyweights as Call Me By Your Name and The Disaster Artist. Can James Mangold and his writing team make history on Sunday, March 4th? You’ll know as soon as we do.

Source: Cinema Blend