‘Prometheus’ Secures R Rating; del Toro Compares the Film to ‘Mountains of Madness’ [Updated]

Published 3 years ago by , Updated February 15th, 2014 at 10:00 pm,

prometheus rating noomi rapace Prometheus Secures R Rating; del Toro Compares the Film to Mountains of Madness [Updated]

[UPDATE: Fox has officially confirmed that Prometheus is Rated R.]

The Avengers has obliterated U.S. box office records, setting the stage for a lucrative summer, chock-full of heavily-anticipated titles. As it were, the next big “event” movie of the summer is Ridley Scott’s Prometheus, which sees the filmmaker finally back on Alien turf (literally).

Anyone who was worrying that Scott’s symphony of sci-fi/horror could end up “watered down” to a PG-13 Rating can relax now: the film has (seemingly) been confirmed as Rated R. Meanwhile, Guillermo del Toro has spoken out about the similarities between Prometheus and At the Mountains of Madness – and why it’s bad news for his long-planned adaptation of that H.P. Lovecraft story.

Thanks to a pre-sale ticket stub purchased by IMDb user “dvonnesoneek” (tip of the hat to Collider) we now have pretty definitive “proof” that Prometheus has indeed landed an R Rating. It’s not so shocking when you consider that the film was branded with an “18” rating in Spain, which is the equivalent of an R here in the States; moreover, Scott previously made it clear that he would push “to get the most aggressive film I can” – and, at this point in his career, the director has sufficient clout to ensure that happens.

[UPDATE: Since this story first broke, 20th Century Fox has officially confirmed that Prometheus is indeed Rated R, for “sci-fi violence including some intense images, and brief language.”]

As has been discussed recently, with respect to upcoming titles like The Expendables 2 and The Wolverine, an R Rating is no guarantee of quality when it comes to adult fare. Still, when you think of the horrific imagery and atmosphere of dread that has pervaded through early Prometheus footage, it’s difficult to suspect that a lower rating would not have ultimately weakened Scott and screenwriter Damon Lindelof’s attempts to scare the bejeezus out of moviegoers.

prometheus rating Prometheus Secures R Rating; del Toro Compares the Film to Mountains of Madness [Updated]

A memorably horrific moment from 'Prometheus'

R-Rated Summer blockbusters are a rare species – especially when it comes to expensive sci-fi entertainment. Studios generally go out of their way to land a more financially-friendly PG-13 Rating. As has been proven before, however, that kind of pandering move can still end up having a negative effect on the box office returns (Terminator Salvation, looking at you).

When you look at the the box office track record for R-Rated installments in tentpole sci-fi franchises that hit theaters during the summer, it’s actually quite solid (see: The Matrix Reloaded, or the second and third Terminator movies). Hopefully, Prometheus will join the ranks of Terminator 2: Judgement Day as a film that both rakes in lots of cash – and proves to be a quality piece of sci-fi entertainment.

However, it’s not all (potential) good news on the Prometheus front – as the success of Scott’s film could be the final nail in the coffin of del Toro’s collapsed $150 million adaptation of Lovecraft’s famous At the Mountains of Madness novella. According to the filmmaker (via his official fan site):

I have been interviewed about this lately and wanted to post my two cents about this:

Prometheus started filming a while ago- right at the time we were in pre-production on PACIFIC RIM. The title itself gave me pause- knowing that ALIEN was heavily influenced by Lovecraft and his novella.

This time, decades later with the budget and place Ridley Scott occupied, I assumed the greek metaphor alluded at the creation aspects of the HPL book. I believe I am right and if so, as a fan, I am delighted to see a new RS science fiction film, but this will probably mark a long pause -if not the demise- of ATMOM.

Prometheus Statue 570x262 Prometheus Secures R Rating; del Toro Compares the Film to Mountains of Madness [Updated]

Without venturing too far into spoiler territory, it’s fair to say there are numerous similarities between the basic setup for Prometheus and Mountains of Madness (scientists uncover mysterious ancient civilization, all hell breaks loose). Sadly, if there’s any one lesson studio heads have probably taken away from this year’s John Carter fiasco, it’s that the moviegoing masses are less inclined to see “the original,” after already having seen the imitator(s).

That would indeed not help del Toro’s case, as far as convincing studios to make At the Mountains of Madness goes. Especially if Prometheus proves to be the mind-blowing viewing experience we’re all hoping for.

Prometheus arrives in theaters (2D, 3D, and IMAX 3D) around the U.S. on June 8th, 2012.

We will keep you posted on any additional news or updates on At the Mountains of Madness.

Source: Guillermo del Toro

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  1. Great news.

    It is good that Prometheus is R rated.

    Great articl and it is right that Terminator Salavtion could had been better if it was R rated.

    Still I hope Prometheus turns out to be great and scary.

  2. Really Sandy do you think its reliable to post information as fact when the source is a poster on a IMDB board ? Since when did random pics on IMDB become fact ? Your article makes out the rating is in place, when in reality it has not been made available yet via the MPAA website. You should really include this in the article.

    • It’s a fair point. I changed a few lines, to make it more clear that this isn’t the same as official confirmation by the MPAA.

  3. No one can hear u scream in space

  4. I disagree with Del Toro here.
    If Prometheus turns out to be everything we hoped for I think it can only help ATMOM.
    Studios love to piggy back the success of one film onto another. So if Prometheus is a financial success and critical darling that may give the studio hope that Del toro’s film can be the same and give it the green light.

  5. I’d be happy with RS’s “Prometheus” as a replacement for ATMOM. I read the short story of AATMOM and it isn’t an easy read. Some very strange imagery. I do think it’s Del Toro’s own fault to an extent. If he was so eager to do this film he could have got it done by now. He’s been attached and unattached to sooo many projects lately that it’s no wonder he’s missed the boat.

  6. Oh Yea!

    Every time I stare at that statue’s head I think of Mark Strong for some reason.

    • Haha! I see the resemblance!

  7. this guys a joke. the rating isnt out yet. MPAA is the only reliable source since thats where it comes from you dink

  8. There’s a huge amount of fakers and trolls that do this daily at IMDB, they say they’ve seen it, their friend has seen it, they know the plot, they have the ticket, etc.

    A random poster at IMDb amidst the hoardes of fakes and liars is not the source of anything official.

  9. John Carter was not ‘a fiasco'; it was a deliberate sinking of the film by marketing zombies and studio heads lacking brains. Disney needed a write-off, and chose to trash an excellent film, both by a lack of marketing and absence of support by the studio, in order to get it. In this case, the ‘original’ was far superior to any of the imitators, which makes ‘John Carter’ a tragedy, and not a ‘fiasco’. This was a film, and series, which has long been overdue for fair treatment by a studio, and needed much more advertising and marketing in order to reach the public. It’s a shame those writing such reviews and articles ignore this, either through deliberation or ignorance, for it would add pressure to the studios to prevent such obvious ploys being undertaken in the future. We want good stories on the screen, and have those properties treated with the respect they deserve.

    • Considering that John Carter cost some $250 million to produce – plus, what many feel was simply an under-whelming marketing campaign that still ran upwards of $100 million – and received decidedly mixed reviews, while its theatrical gross didn’t even reach the half-way point of what was necessary for it to become profitable… well, you can call it whatever you want (fiasco, tragedy), but it was ultimately a mess.

      But, hey, thanks for the slight about my comment being either deliberate in its attempt to slander – or, rather, that I’m simply ignorant. I appreciate the support.

    • Agree. I thought Carter was terrific! Every comment I read on blogs and sites like this one just bashed it either because they wanted it to fail or just didn’t see it at all. The MAJORITY of those that saw it liked it to the point of getting their friends to see it, myself included.
      I agree that the Disney marketing machine blew it on that one.
      It’s on my Blu-ray list for sure.

      • “Every comment I read on blogs and sites like this one just bashed it either because they wanted it to fail or just didn’t see it at all.”

        Actually, I DID see John Carter, enjoyed it and recommended it to others, saying I would be game for a sequel.

        Does that have any effect on anything I mentioned in my previous statement (re: box office returns, general critical reception)? Sorry, but the answer is no, like it or not.

      • Totally agree. The critics, who are hacks anyway, mostly reviewed JC based on the trailers, if that. As soon as a couple of critics bashed it out of spite towards Disney for not letting them preview it, the flood gates were opened.

        That, added to Disney’s horrible marketing killed the box office.
        1. Name change to something far too obscure.
        2. Posters that said nothing.
        3. Trailers and ads that made it look like Attack Of The Clones.

        Had I not known this was actually A Princess Of Mars, I wouldn’t have gone to see it based on the advertising, either.

        However, contrary to other statements, it did make back it’s budget worldwide, so I’m hopeful for Gods Of Mars.

        • Yes, any critic who didn’t love John Carter is obviously just a hack who reviewed it based off the trailers, and not just someone with a well-informed, but different opinion than your own. /sarcasm

          Look – in order to be profitable, it’s estimated that John Carter would’ve had to have made around $700 million in theaters (it actually made $271 million). Unless it’s a monster hit on DVD/Blu-Ray – as in, an unprecedented smash – a sequel is not going to happen, like it or not.

    • it was just a badly made movie…no amount of marketing will change my mind on that.

    • No offense John Carter (books) weren’t that great. Perhaps as a nostalgia factor and given the date of their release it makes them kinda interesting but the story was pretty non existant. 90% of the books are fighting.

  10. my birthday is on the same day,yea nice birthday present,yipee:)

  11. Del Toro does have a point about the similarities. Prometheus seems to have a lot in common with Lovecraft.

  12. Saw The Avengers last Friday and before it was all Prometheus footage for June 1st in UK so am pre-bookibg. Can’t remember being so excited to see a film for years. Oh and The Avengers was bloody good as well allthough cinema was less than half full after it only being out a week.

  13. 20th Century Fox has confirmed Prometheus will be rated R for “sci-fi violence including some intense images, and brief language.”

    • … And the article’s been updated accordingly. 😉

      • Boom!!!

  14. Despite being a HUGE HPL fan, I’ve never been too fired up about a “Mountains of Madness” movie. It’s a great book, but I don’t see it translating well to the screen (while reamining faithfull to the source material).

    One HPL story that Would go well on the screen is “Dreamquest of Unknown Kadath”. It’s a visual bonanza and really something Del Toro could sink his teeth into.

    I wish he’d get a wild hair to do THAT one! Nightgaunts?! Moon-beasts?! C’mon GdT! That’s a no-brainer!

  15. Plot/story is what makes a movie, not how graphic the violence is depicted. Rated R, as opposed to PG-13, means nothing, except that fewer, rather than more, people will see it.

    • I strongly disagree. There are many examples of movies where the R rating is specifically tied to the method of telling the story. Fight Club couldn’t be a PG-13 movie and have any impact; South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut was also entirely built an expectation of an R rating, and wouldn’t have been as entertaining with a PG-13 rating. In horror, especially, being able to push the boundaries of what is comfortable (and neither exclusively nor necessarily through violence) can earn you an R rating.

  16. I have NEVER understood what “brief language” is.

    It always conjures up images of dialog like the following:

    Elizabeth Shaw: “So, David, tell me, what do androids wear under their pants?”

    David: “Well, Miss Shaw, it depends on the android model… I personally am partial to boxers.”

    Elizabeth Shaw: “I don’t know why, but I somehow imagined you more as a commando type”.

    David: “Thank-you Miss Shaw… although, I am not anatomically correct which would make that particular choice pointless.”

    • I think that might be brief nudity, which itself could still just land it a PG-13. Strong language might not even be the reason for the R rating, I am guessing the sci-fi violence and graphic images are what earned the rating. Considering the original I don’t even know why this was ever in doubt even by the studio, Alien was considered terrifying in its day and I don’t think Ridley has mellowed that much over the years.

      • actually there IS an MPAA rating descriptor “brief language”.

        • I have to look for that one next time I catch a movie, since I don’t know what they consider brief language at this point. They cure on basic cable now, so I don’t see why this is still an issue with movies. Granted they have come up with some weird ones lately like sci-fi violence, as opposed to straight scientific violence….

  17. Thank you FOX and Tom Rothman. You have done the right thing.

  18. Ridley was willing to bend to please studio suits
    and he tried his best to shoehorn Prometheus
    into a PG-13 but clearly he drew a line he
    would not cross and being Ridley Scot
    he does not have to cross that line.

  19. Meh. The whole rating system is a joke anyways. I just hope it’s a good movie worth my money.

  20. Ratings tend to change over time, the original ALIEN was also rated R, I have two copies of ALIEN, one is the 20th Anniversary Edition which clearly has an R rating.

    Now I own the ALIEN Quadrilogy and it now has an MA15 rating, so apparently what was so shocking back in 1979 to warrant an R rating is now, not quite so shocking.

    • The unfortunate thing these days is the internet spoiling everything. When the alien burst from the chest in the first alien people in theaters totally freaked out, some left, others spontaneously vomitted. It was glorious.

  21. I really like what you guys are up too. Such clever work and coverage!
    Keep up the amazing works guys I’ve incorporated you guys to blogroll.

  22. It isn’t that audiences rejected John Carter because after seeing
    imitators, they don’t want to see the original…

    It’s because John Carter was a pathetic, boring piece of s*** that I could not even sit through and had to shut off.

    Sick of people just ASSUMING that all movies are great and so the reasons
    they fail or succeed have to do with things other than the quality…