'Logan' Director Criticizes The PG Rating

Wolverine has always had a soft spot with fans, as he regularly appeared on teams alongside younger mutants, but the character was always capable of causing deadly carnage when the situation called for it. Most of the X-Men films handled his violence like the comics did, by only hinting at the harm he could cause or by having the more brutal behavior occur in between scenes. With Logan, however, audiences saw and felt every one of the character's attacks, leading to an R-rating, with director James Mangold questioning the whole ratings process.

“I have a lot of misgivings about violence and PG ratings," Mangold shared with The Credits. "A PG film might show hundreds of people dying, falling off buildings, getting mowed down by rapid fire guns, but you don’t feel the deaths because the ratings system dictates the amount of agony being played by the actor. In a weird way, that makes violence more palatable because when we excise the upsetting bits, we de-sensitize ourselves to death to the point where it’s almost like shooting ducks at a carnival."

Admittedly, we aren't entirely sure which PG-rated films the director had been watching that depicted "hundreds of people dying," but he still raised interesting points about on-screen gore versus conceptual deaths.

"We wrote a movie about a character struggling with the PTSD from three lifetimes of mayhem and violence, so it was important to feel the toll all that bloodshed has taken on Logan’s soul," Mangold explained of the necessity of his film's R rating.

The film served as a send-off to Hugh Jackman's portrayal of the character, wanting to go out with a bang, in both a literal violent sense and in an emotional sense. Not having to be conducive to regulations surrounding PG-13 criteria, the filmmaker leaned more heavily into the dark subject matter.

"This movie could not legally be marketed to children, which means there’s no Happy Meals, no action figures, no advertising on Saturday morning cartoons," Mangold pointed out. "I don’t have to worry about the attention span of a 12-year old. I don’t have keep the story ‘up-cut’ to keep kids engaged. I only have to think about pleasing grown-ups. From writing onward through the directing, I had the freedom to make a more sophisticated movie.”

The future of the character is uncertain, as the rights to the X-Men are now controlled by Disney, which will allow the mutants to be incorporated into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Whether Wolverine will make an appearance is yet to be determined.

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[H/T The Credits]