Uh Oh – Hancock is ‘Surprisingly Sexual And Violent?’

Published 7 years ago by
will smith hancock Uh Oh   Hancock is Surprisingly Sexual And Violent?

Today is an interesting news day for Sony Pictures’ upcoming entry into the summer blockbuster arena: Hancock. I was first tipped off to the actual tone of the film by my pal over at Movies Online, and then received further clarification after reading a post over at /Film.

So what’s so interesting?

This movie is not what you think it is, folks. Think it’s another light-hearted, funny Will Smith romp?

Think again.

According to an article over at the New York Times, far from being a conventional combination of comedy and superhero flick, Hancock pushes the PG-13 envelope hard. As a matter of fact, up until three weeks ago there was a statutory rape scene in the film.

The film has been to the MPAA twice in the last month to receive a rating and both times it was given an “R.”

The goal of course, is to keep cutting away slivers of scenes until they can get it just under the bar and achieve a PG-13.

Director Peter Berg openly admits that a goal of the film is to make the film edgy and not “boring.” According to the NY Times:

“The film, he [Berg] said, remained surprisingly sexual, violent and true in spirit to an original script that was viewed as brilliant but unmakable when its creator, Vincent Ngo, first circulated it more than a decade ago under the title ‘Tonight, He Comes.’”

One of the things they had to “tone down” from the original script was a scene where Hancock gets drunk with a 12 year old. That was changed to a 17 year old and seems to be the source of the statutory rape scene mentioned above.

Sony executive Amy Pascal comments:

“It’s scary in that it goes farther than we’ve gone before”

Now before you start getting all ornery on me, I have NO problem with an edgy superhero comedy starring Will Smith. What I do have an issue with (and the studio will too, mark my words) is marketing a film as described above as a PG-13, family friendly summer comedy. It’s deceptive and it’s going to bite them in the ass, guaranteed.

“Oh, but what about ‘The Dark Knight?” THAT’s a dark movie!”

Yeah, but we know that’s going to be a dark movie based on the trailers, images and interviews. My soon-to-be 12 year old daughter has already decided she doesn’t want to see it. But Hancock? We’ve all watched the trailers together, thought it looked funny and had been planning on seeing it as a family.

But not any more.

Hancock opens on July 2, 2008.

Source: NY Times

TAGS: Hancock
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  1. Christopher Cross? Is 790 your age times 10? LOL Maybe he’s had a resurgence and is the bitchingroovyspiffykeenradawesome of 2008.

  2. At this point I wish it WOULD come out with an R-rating. That would at least flag it as a movie for us grown-ups.

    The problem is that the vast majority of parents out there don’t do any homework before taking their kids to see a movie beyond watching the commercials for it. So when a studio purposely “lightens up” the ad campaign, it really bugs the heck out of me.


  3. Well one problem with the system is that PG-13 covers such a wide range. It’s fine to bring under 13 year olds to SOME PG-13 movies, but not others.

    The reason for that is that some movies get a PG-13 because they come in just a bit above a PG, but other movies get the same rating by coming in just a bit UNDER the R rating.

    Really the descriptions of why a movie gets it’s particular rating are of more use than the ratings themselves.


  4. 790, you should REALLY check out the documentary about the MPAA ratings system called “This Film has not Been Rated.”


  5. Nice I hope it comes out rated R. Kinda like Dogma was, a dark comedy.

  6. Aahh like red Kryptonite, PG13 strikes again.
    Dark give me Dark, I can handle it.

    Sure hope Christopher Cross does the theme song.
    (Yeah right)
    “Would you get lost between the world and New York City? , I know its crazy, but its true”. :-)

  7. You’re right, Vic. The Dark Knight’s ad campaign is making no bones about it’s intended tone and dark feel. We’ve all been talking about how dark it’s going to be for months now.

    We haven’t been talking about Hancock in those terms because the advertising has made it look like just this year’s family friendly Will Smith action comedy. I hate it when a movie is mis-marketed.

  8. For years, this had a reputation for being an insanely un-producable script called TONIGHT, HE COMES. And it was DARK…to put it nicely.

    I’m fasicinated because Will Smith has such big clout in the industry I have no idea just how much of TONIGHT, HE COMES will make it into HANCOCK.

    As great as the trailers are, Sony is selling a completely different film especially in light of that New York Times article that Boss is referring to.

    It is THE question-mark of the summer imo. It’s going to have a huge opening weekend regardless. But…I wouldn’t be surprised if it plummets on its second week out.


  9. Either cut the crap or KEEP the R.

    TDK will most likely be PG-13.

  10. Yeah Vic PG13 is a green light for half-ass parenting.
    I saw more than one under 13 year old at Iron Man.
    And I see that kind of ill-responsable parenting at other films too like Avp-R. makes me sick.

    Oh Jimmy don’t you get the drinking reference. Ghhesssh
    (What kind of lawyer are you).
    And yes I am 790 years old (mentally). So what. ;-~

  11. anyone remember the big stink when Batman Returns (even the first Batman) was released PG-13? I remember seeing Oprah or Donahue (or one of those) where parents were so outraged because they took their 10-year-olds (or younger) to see it and had to leave the theater (“boo hoo”, what were you doing there int he first place!?!).

    Kids that young most likely won’t be going to the movies alone so parents have a choice to let them go or not. They also have the choice to research these movies or not. PG-13 nowadays even stretches the boundries for what’s appropriate for 13 yr-olds, much less younger.

  12. Its clear to me that the Ratings board members have been replaced by a younger generation.
    And in some cases make choices that are influenced by money.

    Sorry kids, but The Dark Knight is another film that should be Rated R.

  13. Cool Vic, I’ll check that.

    Gotta be better then “Equalibrium”. :-).

  14. Yeah but KEL what are they cutting out? That’s what upsets me.

    its all driven by greed from the studios.

  15. The ratings have changed over here too. We used to have U, PG, 15, 18 for the main stuff. Now the ratings seem more open, but, as a movie critic likes to point out, PG means it is up to parent to check it is ok for their kids, and not all kids can handle the same stuff.

    When I was very young I watched Gremlins and loved it. My cousin saw Ghostbusters and had nightmares.

  16. Why the hell can they not make 2 versions of all films, R and pg13 – let us grown up’s see our beloved sex and drug scenes, and cut it out for the kids, what is the problem? don’t adults run the world? are you saying we can not get cool dark violent movies – cause it wont make the moeny it needs to make, come on!!!

  17. “Why the hell can they not make 2 versions of all films, R and pg13″

    They do, the ‘unrated’ DVD releases have become a staple in the industry. Care Bears: Unrated anyone?

    The problem is that it’s not just a 5 sec clip here and curse word there, most of the time it’s the tone and presentation of the whole movie that makes it inappropriate for youngsters. It’s so odd that a movie can cut 5 seconds out and the movie suddenly ok for kids under 17 to see it without an adult? it doesn’t make much sense

  18. An odd contrast is that the Harry Potter movies had swear words, mild ones, inserted into them so the rating would be higher. They didn’t want a U movie, with people thinking it was just for kids.

  19. Panda it makes sense when you think of the money that’s involved. If Iron Man would have been rated R do you think it would have made 100 mil.so fast……?
    The studios that run hollywood also run the Ratings board.

  20. 790-
    I understand why studios want pg13 rather than R, (game theory) it’s what ratings groups consider R material and PG material that is confusing to me

  21. heres hoping for the day a nice old fahioned family film is considerd “edgy”.
    I heard that Indiana jones and the temple of doom was the film that led eventually to PG-13
    all those scences of the kali sacrifices ,
    to put it gently .
    I have seen it written a few places,
    Including a book on Fords career.
    I dont know if its true.

  22. Yeah Panda I hear ya, but (IMO) certain members could be paid off to swing the ratings. Especally on tent-pole films. (There’s millions at stake and its very real and doable. This town (LA) bends over backward for movies and sometimes all it takes is a call and a promise from Harrison Ford).

    I guess for us Screen Ranters it works because I certainly only want the best for films like Iron Man and Batman. And the more money they make the more respect and sequels we get.

    The only concern I have is like Vic stated early this gray area has caused problems because some parents don’t GaS what there kids watch and I agree this can cause developement problems and it opens things up for minors that they should learn later in life…

    Boy I sound like an old man. What’s happend to me ?? :-)

    But it does bug me when I see kids at films like cloverfield or Avp-r.

  23. You know in a way this is all kinda a band-aid anyway.
    Kids can allways go online or wait for the dvd to come out.
    But it does keep some kids out I guess. The ones with good parents obviously. So thats really where it all starts.
    (IMO) kids shouldn’t even have cell phs. :-/ too much RF. Not heathy.

  24. I’m with you, 790!
    Let’s tale back the streets!

  25. Lol Steven!!
    Thanks for your support.

  26. I think that I speak for the vast majority of the internet when I say that 790 is an idiot. And none of you can spell. Why is it up to you to control what other people’s kids watch, under the armchair moralization that most parents are absolutely horrible? Also, having watched some R-rated movies from a very young age with my parents, I have to say that I didn’t understand half of what I was seeing, or know that anything was going above my head. If the kid doesn’t know a concept, it might slide right by him or her. If the kid does, then not seeing the movie isn’t going to change a thing.

  27. How appropriate that you called yourself the name for the collective “internet.”

    If you paid attention to the point of the article you’d see that it’s the misleading style of the ad campaign that is the point. If parents want to bring their kids to “The Dark Knight” after having seen all the material available to date, they’re making an informed decision. But if they think that “Hancock” will be a light-hearted romp and instead are treated to some “dark” film, then that’s the opposite but equivalent of your “moralizing” statement. But in this case the studio is taking it upon themselves to show us what they think we ought to see whether we wanted it or not.


  28. I rest my case……

  29. If a kid doesn’t understand a concept and sees it, they can get the wrong idea. Happens a lot.

    Hey, just like on this thread!

    Also, I’m pretty sure the vast majority of the internet has no idea 790 exists. Yet. ;)