The Expendables: not being toned down for PG-13 rating
Any fears that Sylvester Stallone’s The Expendables was to cut action movie corners in the hope of a softer rating appear to have been abated…
Ah, now here's some refreshing news to kick off the week. Remember earlier last year when it was revealed that two different versions of The Expendables were to be tested prior to its release in August? One version of Sylvester Stallone's ensemble action-fest was going to be a PG-13 cut, and the other a harder R-rated version?
Well, let's just say that common sense prevailed. We're still struggling with the idea of an 80s action throwback featuring the likes of Stallone, Schwarzenegger, The Statham, Willis, Jet Li, Mickey Rourke and Dolph Lundgren that could even be conceived to be a PG-13 movie, but it's a fear we're no longer going to have to face.
According to Hollywood Elsewhere, Lionsgate has now confirmed that The Expendables will, indeed, have an R rating. It quotes a Lionsgate source as saying that The Expendables "has always been conceived as an R-rated film, as Stallone himself has confirmed to other press outlets throughout the filmmaking process. There is not a PG-13 version of the film in the works, nor has there ever been. The MPAA R rating is official and final."
The word of a PG-13 cut didn't come from weak sources, however. It was the film's producer, Avi Lerner, who raised the issue in an interview around a year ago.
Interestingly, Hollywood Elsewhere does hint at some nervousness over the R rating, given the disappointing US take of Kick-Ass earlier in the year (which is still a little short of $50m). The Expendables, given its roster of star names, is unlikely to suffer quite the same fate, and should at least have a sizeable opening weekend. Whether it's enough to kickstart a planned franchise? We'll be finding that out when the film arrives in August...