A long time ago when John Travolta’s popularity was at its peak in the 70’s, Paramount edited out seven minutes from Saturday Night Fever so it could play on a double bill with the PG rated Grease.
Now it seems as if there may be two versions of the upcoming Wolverine film, allowing moviegoers to choose between a PG-13 and and R showing of the film.
As Hugh Jackman told Collider, "[Director] James Mangold and I talked about [an R-rated version] and we’re like ‘Look, let’s not put it off the table.’ There’s even talk about us doing two versions, as in finding a way to do both while you shoot it, which could be really cool. But you need to have a good reason to exclude those fans."
Jackman also told MTV, "There is such great temptation to make an R-rated Wolverine. I’ve always felt that, I know a lot of fans would like that, and if there’s ever gonna be a superhero that’s gonna be R-rated it’s Wolverine."
Of course, Collider, and I’m sure many others, don’t feel a major superhero franchise would be allowed to go out with an R rating, although the prospect of any superhero film going out in an R rated version, like Batman, would be very intriguing indeed.
Obviously, there’s always the secondary markets, which will probably be limited to Blu-Ray and streaming when the film is in theaters.
And as Collider also noted in its report, you can still get away with a lot of dark stuff even while still adhering to a PG-13 rating. Sure, it may be too risky to release two versions theatrically, and who knows how much would actually have to be taken out to make the PG-13 version, but it is still an interesting idea nonetheless.
The Wolverine is currently slated for a 2013 release with Mangold directing from a screenplay by Christopher McQuarrie (The Usual Suspects), and Mark Bomback (Live Free or Die Hard, Unstoppable, and the upcoming remake of Total Recall).