Had all gone according to plan for Alfonso Cuarón‘s Gravity, we’d be eagerly talking up its Oscar potential in anticipation of its release next month. However, Cuarón’s effects-heavy sci-fi epic apparently needed a bit more time to come together than had originally been projected. In May, Warner Bros. announced it’d be pushing back the release to an unspecified date in 2013. The open-ended nature of the announcement naturally had some movie lovers fearing production woes and wondering when we’d finally get to see the finished product.

The studio still hasn’t announced an exact opening date for the movie, but there’s now reason to believe it’s just about ready to go. The MPAA has handed a PG-13 rating to the film. The rating itself is interesting, since it clues us in to the level of intensity we can expect. But the fact that it’s been rated at all is just as noteworthy, because indicates the movie is near or at completion. It’s rare for the MPAA to rate a movie that’s nowhere near finished. More after the jump.

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The teaser clips for Paul Thomas Anderson‘s The Master were real head scratchers. Compelling? Interesting? Of course. But I’ll be dammed if anyone could figure out exactly what was going on in them. Now the same can be said for the movie poster, which looks like a wine label only with the liquid on the outside. Check out the image and more after the jump. Read More »

As production gets underway, news is coming in fast and heavy from the Iron Man 3 set. After the jump:

  • Iron Man 3 to shoot in Miami; see set pics with Robert Downey Jr. and Don Cheadle now
  • Photos from the North Carolina set confirm A.I.M. will play a role in Iron Man 3
  • Ridley Scott toned down Prometheus for U.K. rating, won’t release director’s cut
  • Erica Ash will play Ashley Tisdale‘s BFF and rival in Scary Movie 5
  • Damon Lindelof talks converting Star Trek 2 to 3D, the possibility of doing Star Trek 3

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Genre and horror fans can do a little celebrating today as the argument regarding the rating of Ridley Scott‘s sci-fi film Prometheus has been settled. Many fans were worried the film would be slapped with a PG-13 to bring in a broader audience and possibly soften the violence and scares.

That is not the case, however, as 20th Century Fox has now confirmed that Prometheus, out in one short month on June 8, will be rated R for “sci-fi violence including some intense images, and brief language.” Awesome. Read More »

‘The Dark Knight Rises’ Gets Rated

Briefly: That IMAX Bane prologue from The Dark Knight Rises that hit back in December earned a PG-13 rating from the MPAA, and now the rest of the movie has followed suit. A forum member of nolanfans (via Collider) was the first to notice The Dark Knight Rises‘ rating listed on the Warner Bros. exhibitor website. The rating is no surprise, seeing as both Batman Begins and The Dark Knight were rated PG-13 as well, but if you were hoping that Christopher Nolan‘s Batman trilogy would either finish darker or, conversely, open itself up for more kid-friendly audiences, you’ll probably be disappointed.

The exhibitor rating cites “intense sequences of violence and action, some sensuality, and language” as the MPAA’s reasons for the PG-13. The violence and action parts seem to be in line with previous installments. I think the “sensuality” part may be new, but I suppose that’s just what happens when you invite Catwoman to the party. The Dark Knight Rises opens July 20.

Everyone has something to say in today’s Sequel Bits, whether it’s Star Trek 2 co-writer Alex Kurtzman on the magneticism of Benedict Cumberbatch, Robert Englund on Freddy Krueger’s backstory, or Frank Spotnitz on the possibility of another X-Files movie. Also after the jump:

  • Details on the new (in-canon) video game sequel to Aliens
  • James Cameron and Jon Landau have big plans for the Avatar franchise
  • The MPAA stamps Piranha 3DD with a well deserved R rating

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There’s been a strange turn of events in the tale of The Weinstein Company’s upcoming documentary Bully. The latest info was the film, which was in danger of being saddled with an R-rating the studio deemed unfair, would be released unrated and uncut. Normally, that would mean the film could not play in most major movie chains as they don’t play unrated or NC-17 rated movies. However, in the case of Bully, AMC Theaters will allow minors in to see the film as long as they have written or verbal permission from a parent. Cinemark, on the other hand, will not show the film. [Update: And Regal, will treat it as an R-rated film.] There’s more after the jump. Read More »

Here’s the latest update in the battle between Harvey Weinstein and Bully director Lee Hirsch on one side and the MPAA on the other. Weinstein and Hirsch have petitioned the MPAA to lower Bully‘s rating from R to PG-13; the film was rated R solely for the use of foul language by kids filmed for the documentary.

Weinstein petitioned the MPAA to change the rating, hoping that doing so would (he said) help get kids to see the movie. He cited the ratings change for the Iraq War documentary Gunner Palace, released in 2004, which was also originally rated R for language. In the case of Gunner Palace, the MPAA did change the rating, and it went out as a PG-13 movie.

In the case of Bully the MPAA refused to budge, and now The Weinstein Company will release it, unedited, as an unrated film. So will the National Association of Theater Owners (NATO) make good on a promise to treat it as NC-17 and not let any minors in at all? Read More »

The MPAA began, in slightly different form, to act in part as a tool for the early Hollywood studios. But it also quickly became a self-regulating arm of the film industry, an attempt to pacify those who accused movies of moral lapses without letting control over the business pass to a government agency. The MPAA has seen its share of controversy over many decades of existence, but in the last ten years has seemed more and more out of touch with common standards. Cite, if you will, the board’s inflexible approach towards ‘foul’ language, or a permissive attitude towards violence that contrasts with a severe distaste for sex, especially if the film in question is the product of a major studio.

Harvey Weinstein has had several battles with the MPAA in recent years, and the latest is over the documentary Bully. The film, a trailer for which we showed you yesterday, was rated R for scenes in which kids speak like kids do — that is, with some bad language. Weinstein appealed the R rating today, and lost by a single vote. Now he is threatening to do something that perhaps only Harvey could get away with: a wholesale break from the MPAA.

Update: The MPAA has released a statement in response to Weinstein’s threat. Read that below.

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