THE EXPENDABLES 3 Was Originally Rated R; Had to Make Cuts for PG-13 Rating

     July 8, 2014


Last week, we reported that director Patrick Hughes‘ The Expendables 3 was rated PG-13 due to “violence including intense sustained gun battles and fight scenes, and for language.”  While many fans were a bit disappointed with the rating, I’m wondering why.  The MPAA has shown again and again that you can show insane bodily harm in a movie and get a PG-13 rating, but if you show two people kissing it pushes it into R-rated territory (while clearly an exaggeration, the MPAA has proved with regularity that onscreen sex is the fastest way to get an R).   Does anyone remember what Heath Ledger did in The Dark Knight with a pencil?  I’m still shocked they could get away with that in a PG-13 movie.

While you might think The Expendables 3 is taking it easy on the violence, think again.  I’ve learned from sources that the film just squeaked by the MPAA with a PG-13 rating, and they had to make trims to get there after the first pass was given an R.  Based on what I saw on set, that doesn’t surprise me.  I really believe the third installment is going to be the best one yet, especially with the addition of Mel Gibson as the baddie.  Also, while PG-13 could mean we might not see arms and limbs getting blown apart, it will allow for a younger generation to watch some of the most ass-kicking action heroes ever to grace the screen.  Hit the jump for more.

the-expendables-3-poster-mel-gibsonFrom what Dave said last week:

In 2010, The Expendables brought in almost $275 million on an $80 million budget, with nearly two-thirds of that coming from the international market.  In 2012, the $100-million-sequel took over $305 million at the box office, with over 70% of that on the international stage.  Those two films were tagged with R ratings.  So while a PG-13 label likely means a reduction in the film’s bloody carnage, it also means a wider audience.

Knowing the first cut was rated R, the good news is we’ll probably get an unrated version of The Expendables 3 on Blu-ray.

Opening August 15th, the film stars Sylvester StalloneMel GibsonHarrison FordWesley SnipesArnold SchwarzeneggerKelsey Grammer, Antonio BanderasJason StathamJet LiDolph LundgrenRandy CoutureTerry CrewsKellan LutzRonda RouseyVictor Ortiz, and Glen Powell.

Here’s the official synopsis:

In THE EXPENDABLES 3, Barney (Stallone), Christmas (Statham) and the rest of the team come face-to-face with Conrad Stonebanks (Gibson), who years ago co-founded The Expendables with Barney. Stonebanks subsequently became a ruthless arms trader and someone who Barney was forced to kill… or so he thought. Stonebanks, who eluded death once before, now is making it his mission to end The Expendables — but Barney has other plans. Barney decides that he has to fight old blood with new blood, and brings in a new era of Expendables team members, recruiting individuals who are younger, faster and more tech-savvy. The latest mission becomes a clash of classic old-school style versus high-tech expertise in the Expendables’ most personal battle yet.

For more on the film, here’s some of my set visit coverage:


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