Rene Rosa (aka "Evil Adam") over at UGO Movie Blog recently spent some time on the set of Sylvester Stallone's tough-guy action flick throwback, The Expendables. During his time on the set, Rene managed to unearth a startling bit of news: According to producer Avi Lerner, The Expendables is going to be edited in two versions: A PG-13 cut and an R-rated cut, which will then be test-screened to determined which version makes it into theaters!!!
I haven't cared this much about the opinions of focus groups since the last election.
Here's how this startling news came to light: Rene Rosa was apparently probing Avi Lerner about the next Rambo film (apparently Rambo 5 is definitely going to happen and will be less brutal than the last installment), which led to a discussion about The Expendables and the level of violence we can expect from that film. That's when Lerner dropped the bomb about the possible PG-13 cut.
PAUSE: We are talking about The Expendables here - a film that unites Sly Stallone, Jet Li, Jason Statham Mickey Rourke, Dolph Lundgren, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, Randy Couture, Terry Crews, Danny Trejo, Eric Roberts and Arnold Schwarzenegger (in a cameo appearance). These are men who have, each on their own, caused enough onscreen mayhem to fill a L.A. swimming pool full of corn-syrup blood. How do you cram all those guys into one (awesome) film and then neuter it down to PG-13???
More to the point: I know the studio wants this film to be a smash franchise (the budget has reportedly swelled to $80 million, what with all the big names and big explosions involved), but who is going to REALLY be the core audience for this type of movie? Young teens who don't even remember the heyday of the tough-guy action flick? Or adult males like yours truly, who will flock to the theater to see his favorite tough-guys scrap? I'm not a damn little boy - give me my R-rated Expendables!!!
Seriously though, if The Expendables ends up with a PG-13 Rating, I (and I suspect many other guys) am going to be forced to wait for the unrated DVD/Blu-ray to drop. That will leave just some half-interested teens and impatient older-types to fatten the box office. Good luck with that.
Test-screeners, if you're out there and listening: DON'T BE FOOLISH, THE EXPENDABLES NEEDS AN R-RATING. We know you'll do the right thing (you better).
Do you think this news is as ridiculous as I do?
The Expendables is set to hit theaters on April 23, 2010.
Source: UGO Movie Blog