Hugh Jackman’s last stand as elite Marvel mutant Wolverine has been an unqualified success, both artistically and critically, as Logan has clawed its way to the top of the box office with a fistful of stellar reviews in tow. In doing so on the heels of Deadpool, the case for the viability of R-rated superhero films has grown that much stronger.
One element both films have in common besides their adult-oriented tone is writer/producer Simon Kinberg, who for years has overseen Fox’s entire X-Universe. And in a new interview, Kinberg spills some secrets about where the studio is going with the Merc with a Mouth, X-Force, and Wolverine.
In a lengthy chat with Anthony D’Alessandro at Deadline, Kinberg — who began work on the franchise back in 2006 with X-Men: The Last Stand — reveals he’s now digging into the path for multiple future X-Men-related sagas, including those involving Ryan Reynolds’ wisecracking assassin.
“We are working hard on New Mutants, Gambit with Channing Tatum, Deadpool 2, and the new X-Force movie where Deadpool is alongside Cable and other main characters… Deadpool 2 is going into production this year. Then X-Force which is a combination of Deadpool and Cable — they’re like the Black Ops of the X-Men. They’re much darker and have an R-rated decibel. There are other X-Men characters coming into X-Force at different times in the comic, but it’s separate from X-Men.”
We already know that Cable (a badass military man who was born in the present, raised in the future, and then sent back to our time period) will factor into Deadpool 2. However, the fact that both he and Deadpool also will be involved in the X-Force movie (in some capacity) is something of a revelation, and implies that that movie will be leaning heavily on Reynolds’ potty-mouthed character to help bolster its roster of X-mutants. While rumors have circulated that Kinberg is going to make his directorial debut on X-Force, he’s so far non-committal (“I’ve read those reports. If I were to direct, I would certainly write.”). Still, thanks to the success of Logan and Deadpool, he tells Deadline he’s now more convinced than ever that taking creative risks is the way to go when it comes to such superhero properties:
“The success of Deadpool and Logan have bolstered our confidence to make edgy, more daring, provocative bold movies that audiences will embrace. More than that, we feel a responsibility to make bold and provocative movies. Each time we make one — and audiences have so many options these days, not just from superhero movies, but all movies, videogames, and content on the internet — we want to stand out. For us it’s a way to excite filmmakers and our actors because they can play a really broad spectrum of colors that not all event tentpoles can do.”
Nonetheless, he remains surprised at just how well Deadpool wound up faring with audiences — and with critics as well, given its less-than-totally-mature content.
“[We] were all so surprised, and the film continued to surprise us over and over again even as it entered the awards conversation this year,” Kinberg told Deadline. “We found ourselves at the PGAs, Critics’ Choice, and Golden Globes. All of it wasn’t anticipated as we made an R-rated movie with fart jokes in it.”
To read more about Kinberg’s thoughts on Logan’s R-rating, marketing, influences, and pint-sized star Dafne Keen, as well as his feelings about the future of the X-Universe, head over to Deadline. Logan is playing in theaters now.
Super-Spoilery ‘Logan’ Interview: Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart on the Fate of Wolverine and Professor X: