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Ridley Scott Says MPAA Needs To Get Their "House In Order," Does This Mean PG-13 Rating For 'Prometheus'?

by Kevin Jagernauth
April 10, 2012 3:31 PM
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“Right now I don’t know where we are. The question is, do you go for the PG-13, or do you go for what it should be, which is R? Financially it makes quite a difference, or the risk makes quite a difference, and yet you also have to apply the question — if you soften it, will you financially suffer?” director Ridley Scott recently told Empire. “As opposed to just going for the throat and gambling. Essentially, it’s kinda R. The little bastards will still get in anyway, so what’s the difference? It’s not just about blood, it’s about ideas that are very stressful. I’m not an idiot, but I’ll do everything I can to get the most aggressive film I can.” And it seems since that interview, Scott has been in the loop with the MPAA trying to get a rating for his film, and like a handful of directors in recent memory, he's come away with a sour taste in his mouth.

Today, lucky folks in London were treated to footage from "Prometheus" followed by a Q&A, and Thompson On Hollywood were there. Scott made no bones about the frustrations he's having in securing a rating for the film. Apparently annoyed by the MPAA's seemingly random pick-and-choose method for rating a movie he says “films this year that have got PG-13 ratings – it’s absolutely fucking ludicrous. So MPAA, get your house in order.” Does this mean he has to soften a cut he delivered that earned an R from the MPAA, when he believed it should have been PG-13? It sure seems that way, and it sounds as if he's not too pleased about it.

But as he said before, he's aware that going R probably won't work financially -- he's up for a rating that "allows it to make as much money as possible. I know the importance of that. When a big film fails, it’s disastrous for all of us.” -- but it seems working within those parameters is proving to be difficult. Fox has not yet released a rating for the movie, but it seems as if they are expectedly working toward a PG-13. So we'll see how this plays out.

Meanwhile, in case you needed it confirmed, "Prometheus" was shot natively in 3D (no post-conversion job here) and speaking quite frankly, Scott found it be a breeze. It's “dead simple to use – it wasn’t a problem. Anyone who says it is just doesn’t know what they’re doing,” he said.

Finally, one last tease before he left. Scott told the London crowd that "Prometheus" contains “the equivalent to [“Alien”’s chest-burster] scene” in a sequence that will feature Noomi Rapace. We can't wait.

"Prometheus" opens June 8th.

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More: Ridley Scott, Prometheus

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  • cirkusfolk | April 10, 2012 6:10 PMReply

    Hey, Chris Nolans ideas in his film are very stressful too. He has no problem getting his PG-13 ratings.

  • MENTD | April 10, 2012 4:24 PMReply

    Ridley never said the film probably won't work as R.
    R rated films do not create loss of profit. Bad films do.
    Studios need to stop looking at the ratings and start looking at the quality.
    America's censorship is out of control. You can't babysit for an entire country.
    We need to drop the MPAA and start supporting NC-17.
    Grown up people want grown up movies that are not watered down for 13 year old children.

  • Huffy | April 15, 2012 2:04 PM

    What a ridiculous argument that is. "If you want nudity in films why not just watch porn." Did it ever dawn on you that there might just be an artistic justification behind nudity and gore? If films like Blue Valentine or Shame were edited because of the fear or revieving an NC-17 their impact would have absolutely been affected. How about Saving Private Ryan? That opening scene wouldn't have been as effective had it not been for the realistic gore and if it weren't for the fact that it was big-budget and from Spielberg it would have absolutely gotten NC-17. The entire MPAA should be thrown out, as it's not only outdated and overly puritanical but completely inconsistent, but since that won't happen anytime soon the next best thing is for NC-17 to be more widely accepted, which in turn allows directors to have more creative freedom without the threat of commercial failure.

  • Chris | April 11, 2012 2:49 AM

    Exactly my point, not only have they been putting out a slew of bad films but they've fooled themselves into thinking we're not interested in the quality of the product. They're so centred on trying to sell us that they've completely forgot about what it is they're selling.

    As for the MPAA - what a ridiculous thing to have such a huge gap between ratings. 13 and 17?! THATS the studio's problem right there (other than completely losing the adult audience's trust now). If the US had the BBFC then it'd be as simple as giving 'Prometheus' a 15. And you can get REALLY tough with a 15, especially when it comes to Sci-Fi. Granted you still need to be clever with your horror/violence but you can get REAL nightmarish with that - top end 15s kick the crap out of you.

  • Rohan | April 10, 2012 5:36 PM

    What you are saying will never happen. There is no need to support NC-17, gore, nudity doesn't make a film a good film. Studios at all times care about money, for they spend money. So earning back more from that product is what they seek and is what they venerate. PG-13 and R-Rated films both make money, yes, PG-13 makes more, for it reaches a wider audience. To me these rating are just like speed limit signs in a way. If you are really into NC-17 films, which contains nudity then I say that you can go ahead and subsribe to a Porn website. If gore is what you seek then my friend, gore doesn't represent the art of films or the story itself.

  • IanHolmAndroid | April 10, 2012 4:12 PMReply

    Calling it now, at the end of this flick, Noomi will be all infected and end up staying aboard the Nostromo to save Earth. She will crash the ship onto the planet featured in the 1979 Alien and will become the space jockey in the chair. Female Space Jockey with a Dragon/Ridley Tattoo.

  • LA2000 | April 10, 2012 10:51 PM

    How does that work? The Space Jockey is much larger than the humans from the Nostromo. At least that is how it appears in the original.

  • Tyrannosaurus Max | April 10, 2012 7:57 PM

    duuuuuuuude niceee I was thinking something along similar lines, but you've really got a better handle on the possibilities.
    I just got as far as figuring Noomi would have to be some sort of self-sacrifice and that the space jockey from the original would turn out to be one of the crew members from Prometheus, but I didn't think to put them together, haha.
    Good detective work, my android friend.
    I guess we'll know in a couple months.

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