The success of #Logan is proof that 20th Century Fox has redefined the comic book movie landscape and that #Deadpool was no mere accident, finding ways to reinvigorate the genre by combining Drama, Action, Science Fiction, Western and Comedy to get incredible results.
Normally, we have R-rated films with isolated characters or one-shot affairs. I understand the hesitation of studios to produce R-rated comic book films, specially if the character has the potential to generate more revenue without that rating; after all, you want to bring as much public to see your movie as possible, but that doesn't mean that the rating should be a dead sentence.
My point is that some characters need the R rating to be true to their source material. Look at what #Netflix is doing, for example. Daredevil, Luke Cage and Jessica Jones were intended for mature audiences (with the televisual equivalent of an R-rating) and look how great these shows had turned out to be.
I'm not just talking about violence or sex, I'm talking about presenting a character as it's intended. Deadpool is not only a "crazy, funny, ninja-looking guy," he's a complex character. He is an insecure person who suffers with cancer, so exploring this character required all the freedom that the medium could allow and it was a success. Logan took a page from the way Deadpool was handled, and the results were better than expected.
We are looking at a new and different outlook for the comic book movie genre but at the same time feels familiar just as it felt back in 2005 with Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight Trilogy. What started as a reboot of one of the most beloved comic book characters ended up redefining the genre by introducing mature, dark and gritty elements to these movies that everyone started to emulate from that point forward.
Warner Bros. has kept this tone throughout its #DC Cinematic Universe and, although admirable due to their commitment, this universe should have started where Nolan's trilogy ended.
The advantage that characters like #Wolverine and #Batman have is the deep lore and characters at their disposal. Batman has one of the best gallery of villains and cast of supporting characters out there; you don't necessarily need Bruce Wayne involved at all times. The Dark Knight Rises ended with John "Robin" Blake donning the cape and cowl, it served as the end of Bruce Wayne and The League Shadows story and it left a world wide open to be explored by this new character. People received well the character of John Blake (due in part Joseph Gordon-Levitt's performance) and it was a golden opportunity to keep that character as our vehicle into the future of this franchise.
Don't get me wrong, Ben Affleck's performance was great, but I would have liked to see Joseph Gordon Levitt's Batman and experience, as audience, the transition of a grounded world into a world that deals with magic, aliens and gods.
And now, years later, we find ourselves in the same situation with #X23 at the end of Logan. I honestly couldn't have asked for a better portrayal of the character. The young and fearless Dafne Keen is the crown jewel of an already outstanding film. Hugh Jackman's Wolverine is the ultimate interpretation of the character and there is no need to rush his return. X-23 is more than capable to carry his mantle and define the character once more. She can even continue Wolverine's legacy by using the many untold stories that he was part of for years to come.
Comic book films are arguably at their peak right now, and the future seems even brighter within the genre rather than facing stagnation like many popular genres in the past. Westerns, film noirs, war epics and even musicals have all suffered this issue and, although they are not completely dead, they all now depend on being integrated within other genres to become a success.
In entertainment, the key is to remain relevant, and comic book films need to find a way to transcend the genre. I think embracing R-rated content was a great first step that has allowed films like Deadpool and Logan to catch people's attention and now they are seeing a different side of this expansive genre.
Marvel / Disney are about to finish their decade-long master plan of interconnected films, creating the #MCU. Warner Bros. is still finding its own identity and 20th Century Fox has struck gold. Twice.
One thing is for sure — if the powers that be continue finding ways to improve the superhero film genre, count me in for the long haul.
What are your thoughts on the future of the R-rated superhero genre?