A few days back, producers James Wan and Jason Blum pushed back against the sentiment the upcoming A.I. killer doll film “M3GAN” should have been rated R after the MPA gave it a PG-13 rating.
That somewhat lighter rating, for “violent content and terror, some strong language and a suggestive reference,” caused enough reaction that Wan and Blum said the rating plays no real factor, with the aim being to scare rather than gross-out. In addition, they’re aware the teen audience will really be into the film.
Now the film’s director Gerard Johnstone has weighed in on the talk. Speaking with Total Film (via Games Radar) recently, Johnstone confirmed that the film wasn’t designed from the get-go as a PG-13, rather it “happened after the fact”.
However, he says it was “always so close” to being a PG-13 rated film anyway that they decided to embrace it and cited Sam Raimi’s “Drag Me to Hell” as an example of a great horror film that’s PG-13. As a result of the decision though, they reshot several scenes and tried to reconceive them in a way to compensate for any lack of visual gore:
“What I was really stoked about is that when we reshot those scenes, they were more effective. It’s like, ‘Yes, you do have to cut away at certain times,’ but it’s fun having to rely on sound and suggestion so much.
I remember turning to my sound designer after a re-do and just saying, ‘Holy s–t, that’s worse’. We were trying to get this PG-13 rating, and I was like, ‘That is so much worse than what we had before.’”
The film will have some comedic aspects, but the threat of the AI doll will be played fairly straight from the sounds of it. Allison Williams and Violet McGraw star in “M3GAN”, which opens in cinemas on January 6th. Check out a newly released clip below.