With Disney and 20th Century Fox’s sale nearing completion, and an official announcement expected this week, director James Mangold is concerned about how it will affect the future of the X-Men franchise.
According to Deadline, the Logan director lamented the idea, fearing that the family-friendly Disney brand would cut down on storytelling possibilities by refusing to let creators tell R-rated superhero stories.
While speaking at a Logan screening event alongside stars Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart, Mangold said, “If they’re actually changing their mandate, if what they’re supposed to do alters, that would be sad to me because it just means less movies.”
Logan, presented as the final film for Hugh Jackman’s version of Wolverine, was a massive success. It earned more than USD 600 million worldwide as a bleak, R-rated superhero film, but while that success was heartening, Mangold fears a future in which Disney would never allow such a film to be made because of merchandising concerns.
“The real thing that happens when you make a movie rated R, behind the scenes, is that the studio has to adjust to the reality that there will be no Happy Meals. There will be no action figures. The entire merchandising, cross-pollinating side of selling the movie to children is dead before you even start. And when that’s dead, it means you’re making a grown-up movie,” noted Mangold.
The R-rated superhero movie trend began back in 2016 with the release of Tim Miller’s Deadpool, a raunchy but accurate depiction of the Merc with a Mouth played by Ryan Reynolds.
With a budget of USD 58 million, the movie went on to earn USD 783 million at the global box office.
Disney has yet to produce a single R-rated Marvel Cinematic Universe title.