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With the release of Deadpool in 2016, we definitively learned that a brand new R-rated silver screen superhero could become a hit with fans. However, Logan proved that a previously PG-13 badass could make the jump to R-rated territory, as well. Now the film has become a total success, it's almost impossible to imagine a version of the story from a PG-13 perspective. According to Logan producer Hutch Parker, the studio didn't have faith in an R-rated take on an X-Men story until James Mangold managed to convince them with his take on Wolverine's final adventure. Parker explained:

We had had conversations in different iterations and even going back long before The Wolverine about more grounded storytelling in the universe. Candidly, I don't think we were equipped yet. Jim was sort of a catalyst in so many different ways, in galvanizing the studio's confidence about doing something bold. In the conviction that he had about the tone that it required and the kind of amazing instinct and navigational skill he had about where we needed to go in the story... I honestly cannot picture another filmmaker doing anything even close to what was accomplished with this film. That's how significant change occurs in storytelling, in filmmaking.

CinemaBlend's own Gregory Wakeman was recently in attendance at a screening and Q&A panel for Logan ahead of the film's home release, and producer Hutch Parker made it very clear as to why and how the R-rated movie got made. Some of the folks behind the X-Men franchise wanted to proceed with a darker and more grounded take on the Wolverine story for years, but 20th Century Fox consistently hesitated due to lack of confidence in the idea. It wasn't until James Mangold pitched his version of the Logan story that the studio realized it had something special on their hands.

We cannot overstate the importance of James Mangold's touch on Logan to make it the gripping western that it ultimately became. Between his work on movies like 3:10 to Yuma, Walk the Line, and Identity, he has proven himself more than worthy as a filmmaker who knows how to craft visceral yet intimate stories. Logan's script was designed from the ground up to avoid traditional superhero movie conventions, and that proved to be its biggest asset. This goes to show how important it is to pick the right director for a given job; you need a proper vision to tell a proper story.

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The numbers don't lie. Although Logan didn't bring in Avengers-level money when it debuted back in March, the film has still managed to become an unequivocal success with fans and critics alike. The film has grossed over $600 million at the box office (against a lean $97 million production budget), and many have already hailed it as a transcendent moviegoing experience within the comic book genre. In fact, some X-Men insiders (such as Deadpool star Ryan Reynolds) seem to think that it could be the first superhero movie to have legitimate Oscar prospects. Whether or not that will happen remains to be seen, but it's clear that James Mangold's hard-R vision for Logan paid off in ways that would've seemed impossible when Hugh Jackman first stepped into the role in 2000.

Logan is now available on Digital HD, and the film's Blu-ray will hit shelves on May 23. If you happen to find yourself on the lookout for more information related to the rest of this year's most highly anticipated theatrical debuts, make sure to check out our 2017 movie premiere guide.

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