Studio bosses were initially concerned that Logan, the final film in the Wolverine franchise, would be too dark, according to Twentieth Century Fox Film chairman Stacey Snider.

Speaking at an Q&A session, Snider admitted that there was even a debate that the film, which sees Hugh Jackman’s character now past his prime, would be just “freakin’ boring” for audiences.

Hugh JackmanHugh Jackman is back as Wolverine in Logan

 “Inside, there was real consternation about the intensity of the tone of the film,” Snider said, according to Variety. “It’s more of an elegy about life and death. The paradigm for it was a Western, and my colleagues were up in arms.

“It’s not a wise-cracking cigar-chomping mutton-sporting Wolverine, and the debate internally became, isn’t that freakin’ boring?” Snider added. "Isn’t it exciting to imagine Wolverine as a real guy and he’s world-weary and he doesn’t want to fight anymore until a little girl needs him?”

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Back in December the first 40 minutes of the film were screened at the Butt-Numb-A-Thon film festival in Austin, gaining a hugely positive reaction from the audience. At the event director James Mangold revealed that Jackman took a salary cut because he wanted the movie to be R-rated.

After the screening, Eric Vespe, a writer with Ain’t It Cool News, tweeted: “40 mins of Logan screened with [Mangold] in the house. Full on berserker Wolverine [finally] and more f-bombs than Lebowski.”

The film, which hits US theatres on March 3, finds Wolverine in a post-apocalyptic world caring for an ailing Professor X in a hideout on the Mexican border. But while trying to hide his powers he encounters a young girl who posses similar abilities to him that is being pursued by dark forces.

Watch the trailer for Logan