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Logan really earns its R rating. Was it tough to convince you to go hard R? Was it tough to convince the studio?

Parker: You know, it would probably be a better story if I said yes. But the truth is, no. The studio, they certainly had questions, but from early days — particularly Emma Watts, who was a big champion of the project, as was Steve Asbell, actually, the two of them — it was always about how do we tell the story correctly? And it became clear as the story took shape that we needed and R rating. We needed to be able to go to that place. And they were supportive. They backed us. And people have wanted to tag it to Deadpool, but the truth is, our conversations about which story actually long precede Deadpool and exist separately, for one reason and one reason only, which is this story sort of requires that tonal approach.

It must have been a relief, though, when Deadpool came out and you were just like, see? We didn’t have anything to worry about!

Parker: Yes. Yes.

Kinberg: [Laughs] I think that’s true. I think that’s fair.

Parker: Always. You know, ’cause look, statistically and historically, you look at the success of R-rated movies, and they are more limited. So what Deadpool did for the whole industry, frankly, was kick open the door to the possibility. Now at the same time, it requires that you be really bold, really original, excellently told, really well performed — you know, you still have to do a series of things that are extremely hard to do and that Deadpool did so extraordinary well. But it certainly made that feel like a more viable possibility.

Well, now that you’ve had two R-rated hits in a row…

Kinberg: Well, Logan hasn’t come out yet, so [knocks on table]. I’m Jewish, I’m touching wood. But go ahead.

[Laughs] Do you think we’re going to see more R-rated X-Men movies coming up? Like is X-Force, for example, going to be R-rated?

Kinberg: I think that each movie, we figure out what the story is, then we figure out the requirements of the story, and if the requirements of the story are R-rated, it’s R-rated. We don’t go into movies saying, this one’s gonna be R-rated, this one’s gonna be PG-13, we don’t make those decisions before we make the decisions of story. My instinct is that the Deadpool universe, which is Deadpool 2 and potentially X-Force, they require being R-rated, because that’s just Deadpool’s voice in the comic, and it’s Deadpool’s voice in the movie so far. I think audiences would be disappointed if they got a PG-13 Deadpool movie. So my easy bet would be Deadpool 2 is R-rated and most movies within that sort of shared but separate universe would be likewise.

Sophie Turner as Jean Grey in X-Men Apocalypse

So speaking of the future, what can you tell me about the next X-Men movie? It’s called Supernova, is that right?

Kinberg: It’s not called Supernova. One of the things we do when we make these X-Men movies, to be totally candid, is — any of these movies, it’s on Star Wars, too — is you come up with fake names to throw people off the scent and when you’re out making the movie, the signs that show you where the locations are say Nova, or whatever the fake title is, and people figure it out, and I don’t even know why we do it anymore.

But at any rate, it’s not called Supernova. That was the code name for it. There’s yet another code name now. What I can tell you is that we’re in early stages of prep on it, and that it’s something that Hutch and I specifically have been talking about, as the producers of it and me as the writer of it, since post-production on Apocalypse, what the story would be and how would do something bold and radical and expand the universe in the same way that Logan feels bold and radical and certainly Deadpool does as well. And that’s where we are with it.

So word is you’re planning to direct that one?

Kinberg: That is the word. That’s premature. But it’s certainly something I’ve been interested in doing generally for a long time.

Well, I know the other big rumor going around about it is it’s going to be the Dark Phoenix storyline — which I’ve actually talked about with you in the past, at the X-Men: Days of Future Past junket. Can you talk about that? What are you going to do differently this time around?

Kinberg: Well, I can’t comment on what we’re doing with this next X-Men movie, but I think a way to talk about it potentially, is to talk about X-Men: The Last Stand, and then that being a Dark Phoenix movie that we didn’t get quite right. I think of maybe a few mistakes we made in that movie — and every movie has mistakes — but the main mistake we made in that movie was taking the Dark Phoenix story, which is such a vast and profound saga, and making it the subplot of the movie as opposed to the main plot of the movie. I think if we were to make a Dark Phoenix movie in the future, it would be a Dark Phoenix movie about her struggle, and really should be the A plot and the primary of the movie.


Logan is in theaters now.

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