Hugh Jackman's Final 'Wolverine' Movie Targets R Rating

X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009) - H 2016
Courtesy of Marvel

The actor always intended to up the intensity factor in his final turn as Wolverine, even before the stunning box-office performance of the R-rated 'Deadpool.'

When Fox turned up at last summer's Comic-Con to promote Hugh Jackman's upcoming and final Wolverine movie, the studio revealed a teaser image showing the brooding mutant superhero giving the middle finger, or rather, middle claw.

That early piece of marketing was a signal that Jackman and the filmmakers wanted to up the intensity factor and make an R-rated movie — long before Fox's Deadpool proved this month that superhero pics don't need to be rated PG-13 to become mega-hits at the box office.

Insiders say the as-yet untitled Wolverine threequel, which James Mangold begins shooting in a month, was always designed as a movie that would receive an R from the ratings board once finished because of the level of violence (and likely language) in the script written by Michael Green.

The success of Deadpool can't hurt, though. The Ryan Reynolds starrer has amassed more than $500 million worldwide since opening in theaters less than two weeks ago, and is virtually assured of becoming the top-grossing R-rated title in history, eclipsing 2003's The Matrix Reloaded ($742.1 million), not accounting for inflation.

Wolverine 3 is scheduled to hit theaters March 3, 2017. Mangold also directed Jackman in The Wolverine (2013). There had been talk of making that film, as well X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009), R-rated, but both films went out with a friendlier PG-13.

Speculation about Wolverine 3's rating hit social media last week after the New York Toy Fair, where a pamphlet allegedly distributed by Fox revealed that the film anticipates receiving an R rating.

The studio has not commented on the pamphlet or the movie's intended rating.

Below is the teaser material from Comic-Con.