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Ridley Scott on Prometheus' rating and why he did the film after all this time

Mar. 29, 2012by: Alejandro Stepenberg

Prometheus header

Sir Ridley Scott and his achingly-anticipated film PROMETHEUS are currently on the cover of UK movie magazine Empire, and within can be found this small collection of information that illuminates a bit about what goes on inside the head of one of the most talented directors currently working.

"[I've wanted to revisit it for] years! Years, years, years," Scott stressed about the Space Jockey character found in ALIEN"I always wondered when they did [Aliens] 2,3 and 4 why they hadn't touched upon that, instead of evolving into some other fantastic story. They missed the biggest question of them all: who's the big guy? And where were they going? And with what? Why that cargo? There's all kinds of questions."

Space Jockey drawing

As for the rating - with THE EXPENDABLES 2 we saw how important a rating can be to fans of a particular property, considering what it can potentially symbolize about a project's tone.  And while some people may end up being unhappy if PROMETHEUS turns out to be PG-13, I would suggest paying attention to the fact that Scott seems to know exactly where a rating should come from.  It's not always merely a matter of gore and language - sometimes a rating can come from something simply being disturbing as hell.  And, Scott goes on to suggest, even if publically the film is PG-13 it will still almost be R in spirit.  "The question is, do you go for the PG-13, [which] financially makes quite a difference, or do you go for what it should be, which is R? Essentially, it's kinda R... It's not just about the blood, it's about ideas that are very stressful. I'm not an idiot, but I'll do everything I can to get the most aggressive film I can."

I trust Ridley Scott to do right be us, holding nothing back in the telling of what will no doubt be a very tough (but exciting) story to experience.  What about you?

Prometheus Empire cover

Extra Tidbit: I feel like THE DARK KNIGHT accomplished rather well the balancing act of being terrifying and visceral in thought/action/method/tone while still retaining a PG-13 rating for revenue purposes.
Source: Empire

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12:10AM on 03/31/2012

If it's R... Just let it be!

I don't really care one way or the other, if it's R or PG13. I just don't want them to edit the film so they can make a few extra bucks. I'm not sure this is the kind of film that would draw younger audiences anyway. I'd be fine with a PG13 rating, as long as that's how Scott intended it. If it happens to be R, don't make unnecessary cuts just to try and pull tweens that are looking for something to see between Hunger Games and Breaking Dawn 2. I'm sure I'll love it no matter what. I just
I don't really care one way or the other, if it's R or PG13. I just don't want them to edit the film so they can make a few extra bucks. I'm not sure this is the kind of film that would draw younger audiences anyway. I'd be fine with a PG13 rating, as long as that's how Scott intended it. If it happens to be R, don't make unnecessary cuts just to try and pull tweens that are looking for something to see between Hunger Games and Breaking Dawn 2. I'm sure I'll love it no matter what. I just don't want to wait 20 years for there to be a final directors cut like we did for Blade Runner.
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12:04PM on 03/30/2012
While I agree that some PG13 movies (like Dark Knight and Inception) are able to straddle the line extremely well, I still feel this movie NEEDS to be R. This isn't just so I can see gory deaths, this world is just more believable with an R rating. Given the situation these characters are in there is going to be violence, swearing and nudity to censor that stuff just for the sake of ticket sales cheapens the effect of the movie. Plus as Sir Ridley was implying the themes and ideas in this film
While I agree that some PG13 movies (like Dark Knight and Inception) are able to straddle the line extremely well, I still feel this movie NEEDS to be R. This isn't just so I can see gory deaths, this world is just more believable with an R rating. Given the situation these characters are in there is going to be violence, swearing and nudity to censor that stuff just for the sake of ticket sales cheapens the effect of the movie. Plus as Sir Ridley was implying the themes and ideas in this film may go beyond what's allowed in a PG 13 film. Seriously the studio needs to realize who the audience for this film is. Kids under 17 are not going to be flocking to see this film. This film isn't going to be some mega hit like the Dark knight was and that's fine. Ridley knows that his audience is older and that's who he is making this film for. I hope to god that he convinces the studio to make it R.
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11:26AM on 03/30/2012
Well either they don't know the rating yet or Scott knows its going to be a PG 13 and is being subtle and preparing us for it. Either way I'll be seeing it.
Well either they don't know the rating yet or Scott knows its going to be a PG 13 and is being subtle and preparing us for it. Either way I'll be seeing it.
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5:54PM on 03/29/2012
I'm kinda happy no one thought of touching the "who's the big guy? And where were they going? And with what? Why that cargo?" questions before Scott. Cause I doubt in someone else's hands it would've have been as good as it looks to be (potentially) really good now!
I'm kinda happy no one thought of touching the "who's the big guy? And where were they going? And with what? Why that cargo?" questions before Scott. Cause I doubt in someone else's hands it would've have been as good as it looks to be (potentially) really good now!
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6:48PM on 03/29/2012
Gotta agree. Of all the people that have handled an Alien film I'm happy the story of the Space Jockey fell to Scott. As much as I like Fincher, it seems right that Scott gets to tell that tale.
Gotta agree. Of all the people that have handled an Alien film I'm happy the story of the Space Jockey fell to Scott. As much as I like Fincher, it seems right that Scott gets to tell that tale.
4:16PM on 03/29/2012

public perception

matters.
R rating = adult film.
PG13 rating = kid film.

The MPAA created this perception a long time ago when they added the PG13 rating in between PG and R. I remember the days before PG13 when thee was a more black and white line between PG and R. With PG13, there is a much more grey area but the public perception of PG13 is that parents can still drop their kids off to see it without having to watch it themselves.
matters.
R rating = adult film.
PG13 rating = kid film.

The MPAA created this perception a long time ago when they added the PG13 rating in between PG and R. I remember the days before PG13 when thee was a more black and white line between PG and R. With PG13, there is a much more grey area but the public perception of PG13 is that parents can still drop their kids off to see it without having to watch it themselves.
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3:06PM on 03/29/2012

It seems that people don't know what truly makes horror good

And it certainly isn't tons of gratuitous violence, gore, language, and tits. It's all about suspense and atmosphere, things that can be acquired by even a G rating. Drag Me to Hell was PG-13 and was the best horror film in the last thirty years. I don't care if this movie will have a bunch of blood and guts. I just want it to be fucking terrifying.
And it certainly isn't tons of gratuitous violence, gore, language, and tits. It's all about suspense and atmosphere, things that can be acquired by even a G rating. Drag Me to Hell was PG-13 and was the best horror film in the last thirty years. I don't care if this movie will have a bunch of blood and guts. I just want it to be fucking terrifying.
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+5
2:29PM on 03/29/2012
This needs to be out now.
This needs to be out now.
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1:59PM on 03/29/2012
The rating does matter.

The MPAA is full of crap and if this ends up with a PG-13, it's very likely the film won't have nearly the same effect that the original R-rated cut would have.

It's not about wanting to overdose on violence but Alien was very unsettling and terrifying and had mature themes. A PG-13 would be very limiting and I certainly don't want to see a watered down sci-fi horror.
The rating does matter.

The MPAA is full of crap and if this ends up with a PG-13, it's very likely the film won't have nearly the same effect that the original R-rated cut would have.

It's not about wanting to overdose on violence but Alien was very unsettling and terrifying and had mature themes. A PG-13 would be very limiting and I certainly don't want to see a watered down sci-fi horror.
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1:34PM on 03/29/2012

Soooo.

Will it be R or PG-13.
Will it be R or PG-13.
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1:25PM on 03/29/2012
I like my movies to be R rated. An R represents to me, a film that isn't limited to what it can be creatively. However, there are films which I am indifferent towards when it comes to the rating, (Prometheus being an example of one).
I feel some movies would be unnecessary or overkill to have a R rating due to their subject matter. A sci-fi space flick (not sci-fi horror) could consist of an R but isn't necessary because it usually emphases mainly on science (again, not talking about sci-fi
I like my movies to be R rated. An R represents to me, a film that isn't limited to what it can be creatively. However, there are films which I am indifferent towards when it comes to the rating, (Prometheus being an example of one).
I feel some movies would be unnecessary or overkill to have a R rating due to their subject matter. A sci-fi space flick (not sci-fi horror) could consist of an R but isn't necessary because it usually emphases mainly on science (again, not talking about sci-fi horror). And a Superman flick or TDK would simply be overkill because hardcore violence would overshadow the message these icons represent. Now if a Predator 3 (or Predators 2) is PG-13, then we will have a fucking problem. So, if Prometheus is R.. great! If it isn't.. whatever. I'll still be there opening day with a semi-front row seat.
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+8
1:18PM on 03/29/2012
PG-13 or R, doesn't matter I'll be taking my 14 year old either way.
PG-13 or R, doesn't matter I'll be taking my 14 year old either way.
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1:11PM on 03/29/2012
I sure am glad that Scott did not attach the "Alien" name to this film even though it is obviously very very related!!!
I sure am glad that Scott did not attach the "Alien" name to this film even though it is obviously very very related!!!
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+13
12:54PM on 03/29/2012
I think the rating matters implicitly. As Scott himself alluded, he was aware of needing a PG-13 during filming. He says, "I'll do everything I can to get as aggressive film as I can."... within the PG-13 framework. The point is, aiming for a PG-13 is limiting. It limits what you can do, where yo can go. You can make a great PG-13 movie, it has been done, but it limits you, and the audience can often feel those limitations. I know this is not an "Alien" film, but I cannot imagine one of those
I think the rating matters implicitly. As Scott himself alluded, he was aware of needing a PG-13 during filming. He says, "I'll do everything I can to get as aggressive film as I can."... within the PG-13 framework. The point is, aiming for a PG-13 is limiting. It limits what you can do, where yo can go. You can make a great PG-13 movie, it has been done, but it limits you, and the audience can often feel those limitations. I know this is not an "Alien" film, but I cannot imagine one of those films taking place in a PG-13 universe. Obviously, the AVP films shouldn't count towards either the Aliens or Predator franchises.
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11:45AM on 03/29/2012

.............

I'm not going to Lie, ratings do matter to me. I will be upset if my most anticipated "Alien" movie turns out to be the only one rated PG-13 I will be very upset... However by the looks of the trailer I do not expect a PG-13
I'm not going to Lie, ratings do matter to me. I will be upset if my most anticipated "Alien" movie turns out to be the only one rated PG-13 I will be very upset... However by the looks of the trailer I do not expect a PG-13
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11:27AM on 03/29/2012
When it comes to pure genre fare like The Expendables...I'm going in expecting gratuitous violence, profane one-liners, and (ideally) a touch of nudity. I didn't exactly come for the story now did I?

But when talking about a real movie, as created by a brilliant filmmaker and storyteller like Ridley Scott or David Fincher...I could give a crap what the rating is. Is it a good movie, and did the filmmaker get out the movie he wanted to make? A few careful Hitchcockian Psycho-style edits in
When it comes to pure genre fare like The Expendables...I'm going in expecting gratuitous violence, profane one-liners, and (ideally) a touch of nudity. I didn't exactly come for the story now did I?

But when talking about a real movie, as created by a brilliant filmmaker and storyteller like Ridley Scott or David Fincher...I could give a crap what the rating is. Is it a good movie, and did the filmmaker get out the movie he wanted to make? A few careful Hitchcockian Psycho-style edits in 'Alien' and Scott could get that movie to be PG and not lose one ounce of sheer terror. That movie is almost purely atmospheric gothic suspense.

I'm seeing this movie. And I hope it makes a shit-ton of money.
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10:59AM on 03/29/2012
Ridley is the man
Ridley is the man
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10:59AM on 03/29/2012
Ratings aren't really a big deal to me unless they take away from the directors true vision of the film.
Ratings aren't really a big deal to me unless they take away from the directors true vision of the film.
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10:15AM on 03/29/2012

Ratings

Who actually looks at them? They tell me nothing about how suitable a film is. Don't press/peer reviews more influence our decision to see a film?
Who actually looks at them? They tell me nothing about how suitable a film is. Don't press/peer reviews more influence our decision to see a film?
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10:07AM on 03/29/2012
I'm not worried. If the movie's bad, the rating won't matter. If the movie's good, the unrated blu-ray will only be icing on the cake.

Does anyone really expect the theatrical cuts of the Hobbit films to be the final word on those movies?

If the movie tracks well, Fox might be confident enough to allow an R rating. That's something they can decide, literally a couple of weeks before release.
I'm not worried. If the movie's bad, the rating won't matter. If the movie's good, the unrated blu-ray will only be icing on the cake.

Does anyone really expect the theatrical cuts of the Hobbit films to be the final word on those movies?

If the movie tracks well, Fox might be confident enough to allow an R rating. That's something they can decide, literally a couple of weeks before release.
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9:49AM on 03/29/2012
I don't get why they're all so convinced a PG13 rating automatically means more money. I'm sure many of the hugely successful R rated movies would have made less money by being PG13.
I'm talking in general, not about Prometheus. I'm sure this flick will be fine, no matter what the rating will end up being.
I don't get why they're all so convinced a PG13 rating automatically means more money. I'm sure many of the hugely successful R rated movies would have made less money by being PG13.
I'm talking in general, not about Prometheus. I'm sure this flick will be fine, no matter what the rating will end up being.
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+2
9:46AM on 03/29/2012
I have a feeling it'll get an R. And by his statement he'll fight for the cut he feels is appropriate.

C'mon, the guy's been in the biz forever and has made several classic movies. I think he has more than enough clout to tell the studio this will stay R.
I have a feeling it'll get an R. And by his statement he'll fight for the cut he feels is appropriate.

C'mon, the guy's been in the biz forever and has made several classic movies. I think he has more than enough clout to tell the studio this will stay R.
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9:21AM on 03/29/2012
Never see the point complaining about rating I've seen awful films full of sex/violence etc look at AVP-R a prime example
Never see the point complaining about rating I've seen awful films full of sex/violence etc look at AVP-R a prime example
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8:55AM on 03/29/2012
I'm glad it's got a PG-13. I would be glad if some dads took their kids to see this, saying "I grew up on Alien, that's classic sci-fi".
I'm glad it's got a PG-13. I would be glad if some dads took their kids to see this, saying "I grew up on Alien, that's classic sci-fi".
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12:13PM on 03/29/2012
I don't know why you got so many minuses. I agree with you. A PG-13 is not like raping the movie.
I don't know why you got so many minuses. I agree with you. A PG-13 is not like raping the movie.
11:25PM on 03/29/2012
Hey, thanks. Yeah, there really is nothing wrong with Pg-13, and ultimately parents are the judge of what their children see. If they deem Prometheus suitable, and if the rating allows it, I see no problem with bringing your kid to see it with you.
Hey, thanks. Yeah, there really is nothing wrong with Pg-13, and ultimately parents are the judge of what their children see. If they deem Prometheus suitable, and if the rating allows it, I see no problem with bringing your kid to see it with you.
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