Sir Ridley Scott’s highly anticipated Prometheus will soon receive a rating the MPAA and Scott has said before that he shot with a PG-13 rating in mind. Even if it gets an R, though, Fox studio chief Tim Rothman says they will make no cuts or concessions to get a lower rating. And that’s great news for sci-fi fans.
Rothman told MTV News that Prometheus is a “big, bold new-idea movie” that he has been excited to see each and every new cut of. He and the studio are “behind it 100%”, which means that no cuts will be made to the film to bring it down to a PG-13 rating if the ratings board labels it as R. In a statement that should please fans, Rothman explained that the studio “will not cut a frame of the film […] because not an ounce, not a percentage are we going to compromise the film.”
In addition to being a great show of confidence in Prometheus on the studio’s part, it’s also a pretty slick marketing move. It’s not unusual for studio execs to tout the merits of high profile films to the press, but Rothman is essentially saying that the film is so good the studio would rather have it bring lower returns than compromise its quality. That’s a whole new level of hype.
For those of you who aren’t aware, the Motion Picture Association of America is the body that assigns ratings to theatrical films. The ratings board’s stated purpose is to “simply provide basic information to parents about the level of various elements in the film, such as sex, violence and language so that parents can decide what their children can and cannot see” but, as anyone who has followed ratings controversies over films like Blue Valentine and Bully knows, the situation is far more complex than that. Ratings can limit both the audience reach and earnings of a film, since theaters sometimes use ratings to make decisions on which films to carry. Because of these kinds of issues, the MPAA can essentially strong arm filmmakers into altering their films to fit their often arbitrary and inconsistently applied guidelines.