Charles Xavier is basically the nicest badass in the world — at least, if we're talking the cinematic Professor X. In the comics he's had dodgy moments, like that time he was totally hot for a teenage Jean Grey, and convinced himself the only reason it couldn't happen was because he was in a wheelchair.
On screen, though, the man is all about good manners — which makes the idea of a cursing, foul-mouthed, R-rated Xavier both ridiculous and strangely appealing.
In a new interview in which he also teased Deadpool and Cable's frankly mouth-watering team-up in X-Force, the #XMen movies' super-producer and writer Simon Kinberg has teased the possibility that other films in the expanding X-Men universe could follow Deadpool and Logan in receiving an R rating.
Could We Get An R-Rated X-Men Team Movie?
Here's what Kinberg had to say in conversation with Deadline:
"We take the R-rating on a case by case basis when the story warrants it and necessitates that rating, and shouldn’t be hemmed by the rules of PG or PG-13. Should a story be readily told in a PG-13 fashion, it should be for creative, not business reasons. 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, 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."
That's a pretty interesting response, in that it seems to highlight the awareness of both Kinberg and the creative team at Fox that having the freedom to make bolder movies provides the opportunity to differentiate the X-Men from Marvel's Avengers.
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Logan would simply not have been made if #Marvel had the rights to the X-Men, and the X-Men films don't have an appeal as broad as Captain America or Iron Man. But, by offering a (riskier, more creatively-charged) alternative rather than competing directly with family-friendly movies, the X-Men universe could become a bigger deal.
I wrote recently that Logan is the first movie in a "third wave" of X-Men movies — Deadpool 2, X-Force, New Mutants and X-Men: Supernova will all follow within two years. In 2000, X-Men became the defining influence on the superhero genre, and now this universe has another opportunity to lead rather than follow.
Sure, we don't need an R-rated X-Men movie with Xavier, Jean Grey et al. (violence being most effective when the story or character actually needs it), but this is a universe which was built on insane antics — like that time Madeline Pryor lost Cyclops and went full dominatrix, or Mystique put the moves on Gambit in the shower, or when Angel discovered he owned a brothel, the X-Ranch, managed by a fire-breathing mutant named Madam Drache (that's Madame Dragon in German). With an R rating, there's way more freedom to play in that sandbox.
So while there's plenty that the next X-Men movie can do inside the realm of a PG-13 rating, there's even more to explore outside of it — and if Supernova really is the Dark Phoenix Saga, the aftermath of that might be the perfect moment to dive into the darker, naughtier corners of the X-verse.
Would you be down for X-Men: Supernova or a future sequel being R-rated?