Most superhero movies are light summer popcorn fare — but last February’s “Deadpool,” a gory farce that became the highest-grossing R-rated film of all time, opened the door for a completely different twist on the genre: “Logan.”
Also rated R and being marketed as the sendoff for Hugh Jackman’s iconic “X-Men” character, “Logan” is what writer Scott Frank likens to a James Bond film where Bond gets drunk in a bar and gets beaten up by a group of soccer hooligans. In other words: It’s intentionally very different from the cape-and-spandex set.
“I think when they finally greenlit the movie, it was around the time of ‘Deadpool,’” Frank said on the latest episode of Recode Media with Peter Kafka. “While we’d been working on it off and on before then, I think they saw: You have to evolve in some way, so maybe one evolution to play with is to make it a little deeper and a little darker and, quite honestly, a little simpler.”
Frank previously penned “The Wolverine” for Jackman, which resurrected the character of Logan after a disastrous origin story, “X-Men Origins: Wolverine,” bombed. He characterized the new film as a dark, adult payoff for everything the character has done in his supernaturally long life.
“We were partially successful, I think,” Frank said of “The Wolverine.” “On this one, we’re never talking about being a superhero. We’re never talking about any of that stuff. And we’ll tell an adult story about growing old, about paying for your sins and what it really means.”
“This is a man who’s certainly killed/maimed/injured a lot of people in his life, and has been doing it for a very long time,” he added. “Now he’s face to face with a very young version of himself.”
After a long career making movies for the big screen, Frank recently branched out into books with his first novel, “Shaker.” And his next project after “Logan” is a miniseries for Netflix: “Godless,” a western produced by “Ocean’s Eleven” director Steven Soderbergh.
Frank said Soderbergh is done making traditional studio movies, for good reason.
“My friends who do what I do, they’re all looking at television to do different kinds of stories,” Frank said. “If you’re working in the movies, you’re doing big, giant comic book, “Star Wars,” broad comedy or family stuff. Some of that stuff is pretty terrific. But at the same time, if you want to do anything other than those things, it’s harder to do it in the movies.”
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This article originally appeared on Recode.net.