Will McG Actually Get Terminator Salvation an R Rating?
by Alex Billington
March 1, 2009
Over the last few months I've attended multiple presentations for Terminator Salvation emceed McG. He's become as entertaining of a public speaker as Zack Snyder, Jon Favreau, J.J. Abrams, or Kevin Smith (it's no coincidence that they're also big directors). However, at both the New York Comic Con a few weeks ago and today at WonderCon, the one thing I've noticed is that he seems to still be open to the rating that Terminator Salvation will get in the end. At first I wasn't sure how much control he had, but after seeing some extended footage, I really am wondering if McG is pulling for an R rating. But is it necessary?
It all began at the San Diego Comic-Con way back in July of last year, where McG said during that panel that two Warner Brothers execs had given him their blessing to make this an R rated movie (the first three movies were rated R as well). But that was over 7 months ago and things may have changed, especially since they released a few trailers in the meantime. My guess is that Warner Brothers saw that the reaction was pretty great, thought that maybe Salvation did have a lot of summertime potential, and thought they should push it back down to the PG-13 rating because it would help them make more money than if it was R.
Jump to yesterday. McG asks the audience whether or not they want to see Moon Bloodgood's boobs in the movie (this is not a joke, it really happened). As my good friend Peter from SlashFilm so interestingly pointed out afterward, the only reason he would be fighting for this is because having her boobs would keep Salvation rated R. We were also shown a few complete scenes (although the CGI has hardly finished), but these two scenes featured a lot of foul language, which didn't affect me personally, but again that plays into the rating. Two strong signs that McG still wants, or even expects, this to be R in the end.
So here's where things get confusing, and I'm not the only one confused (see ComingSoon and SlashFilm). As of today, Terminator Salvation is due out in theaters in 81 days, just over 11 weeks, which means McG doesn't have that much time left to finish editing and cutting this together. I understand that maybe Warner Brothers wanted to gauge the reaction from audiences at both NYCC and WonderCon first, but now they've got to figure out what to do. And if I can have my say, I think it's to go R rated. Well, go R for violence and language, but not for nudity. I just hope he's not making it R just so that it is R, because that's definitely not a good idea.
I'm know I'm not the only one who wants to see a gritty, violent, and thoroughly entertaining Terminator movie that's as good as the first two in the franchise (but not the third). Those two were both R rated, but for "strong sci-fi action and violence", not nudity. Seeing Arnold rip the skin off of his exoskeleton was awesome, but seeing unnecessary nudity, as good as it may be, is kind of pointless for a Terminator movie. Or so that's what I think of this whole situation. And I'm just saying that because I don't want McG to push for R when it's not necessary. But if it's violent and if it's got the language, then go for it. Why not?