Back in 2007, Zack Snyder, coming off of directing 300, wanted to do R-rated superhero movies, suggesting Wolverine as one he had a particular interest in, a decade before Logan did exactly that. In the years since then, Snyder has become a rather polarizing director, getting the DCEU started by directing Man of Steel, Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, and Justice League, though he didn’t get to finish his version of Justice League.

Up until recently, doing an R-rated superhero movie was seen as a big gamble. Blade was R-rated and laid the groundwork for X-Men and Spider-Man becoming big hits in the early 2000s, but it wasn’t a huge financial success. Snyder’s Watchmen movie was R-rated, but not a big financial success. It wasn’t until 2016 that Deadpool showed how a superhero movie with an R-rating could be a big hit, with Logan following the next year.


In a 2007 interview, Zack Snyder talked about how he wanted to do R-rated superhero movies, drawing particular attention to Wolverine. Specifically, he told the interviewer, “It would be cool, an R-rated superhero movie, that’s just cool, I don’t care what it is. Wolverine would be cool if it was rated R.” Snyder actually had an opportunity to direct X-Men Origins: Wolverine, or was at least under consideration, as he shortly afterward added, “I read the script, it’s cool but there’s no way. They asked me about it but I just said, I don’t know. That would be a thing that, if I didn’t have Watchmen, I would be interested in Wolverine.” (via IESB) From the sound of things, there was next to no chance that this movie was going to get made, but it would have been fascinating had it happened.

The Wolverine movie Snyder mentioned turned out to be X-Men Origins: Wolverine, which ended up becoming a disaster on almost every level. The original script, written by Game of Thrones showrunner David Benioff, was intended to be rated R, but was toned down to PG-13 to avoid limiting box office potential. It’s unlikely that it would have been anywhere near the success that Logan was, especially as it was being worked on during a writers’ strike, but even with the box office returns it got, it would have been higher than expected for an R-rated superhero movie, possibly allowing for more R-rated superhero movies to come out sooner.

This also could’ve drastically changed the course of Snyder’s career. With the exceptions of his first feature film, the Dawn of the Dead remake, and the upcoming Army of the Dead, Snyder has worked exclusively with Warner, mostly on DC comics properties. While nothing would have prevented him from going to Warner, working with Fox on a Marvel property so early in his career likely would have set things on a different path. He may have directed more X-Men movies or worked more with Fox, rather than solely with Warner. This would’ve sent the DCEU in a much different direction, as so much of it, especially in the early days, was based on Snyder’s particular style and interests. Having someone else in that role early on would have greatly changed that universe, but as with Wolverine, that’s not guaranteed to have been a positive change.

While R-rated superhero movies aren’t incredibly common now, they were almost a laughable idea back in 2007. Zack Snyder’s desire to make an R-rated Wolverine movie a whole decade before Logan would have pushed boundaries that could have changed the future for superhero movies, but ultimately didn’t happen because Fox was afraid to make an R-rated superhero movie at that particular time.

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