Posted on Wednesday, January 18th, 2012 by Angie Han
Even if it didn’t ultimately deliver, so much of the first Expendables‘ appeal lay in its promise of no-holds-barred action: big stars, bigger guns, and limitless violence, all topped off with heaping dose of salty language. It’s tough to imagine a tamer, more family-friendly version of the movie having the same pull, and yet if a new rumor is to be believed, that may be exactly what we’re getting with The Expendables 2 — and it may all be Walker, Texas Ranger’s fault.
In a recent interview with the Polish site Gazeta, star Chuck Norris claimed that per one of his conditions for signing on to the project, The Expendables 2 would be cleaning up for a PG-13 classification. (The first Expendables movie received an R for violence and language.) Read his comments after the jump.
Update: This is no rumor, at least as far as the rating goes. Sylvester Stallone told AICN that the film will indeed be PG-13. Read his statement below.
/Film reader Branden H. passed along the video, which you can watch below:
Here’s my best attempt at transcribing Norris’ words — it’s difficult to hear him over the interpreter’s talking:
With The Expendables 2, you have a lot of hard language in there that means that means that young people won’t be able to see it. I said, I don’t do movies like that. I didn’t do them in the past, I didn’t do them on my TV series. I said, you have to cut out all the language, hardcore language or I can’t do it. So they did, and Expendables is now a PG-13 film so kids can see it.
The ExpendablesPremiere.com translation differs somewhat, but the overall message is similar:
In Expendables 2, there was a lot of vulgar dialogue in the screenplay. Fot this reason, many young people wouldn’t be able to watch this. But I don’t play in movies like this. Due to that I said I won’t be a part of that if the hardcore language is not ereased. Producers accepted my conditions and the movie will be classified in the category of PG-13.
Considering the first film’s emphasis on violent action sequences, it strikes me as absurd to pinpoint bad words as the reason the sequel could’ve been inappropriate for children and teens. And if Expendables 2 really is aiming for a PG-13 — and it’s possible it isn’t, since it’s ultimately not up to Norris — I’m guessing language won’t be the only compromise, either.
I understand where Norris is coming from, to a point, since he’s known for having strong moral convictions. It’s also easy to see why the studio might be eager to downgrade from an R to a PG-13, since the latter draws in bigger audiences. For grown-up fans hoping for unrestrained action, though, a PG-13 rating isn’t an auspicious sign.
Update: Here’s what Stallone had to say to AICN:
Harry, the film is fantastic with Van Damme turning in an inspired performance… Our final battle is one for the ages. The PG13 rumor is true, but before your readers pass judgement, trust me when I say this film is LARGE in every way and delivers on every level. This movie touches on many emotions which we want to share with the broadest audience possible, BUT, fear not, this Barbeque of Grand scale Ass Bashing will not leave anyone hungry…Sly
Directed by Simon West and starring Norris, Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Terry Crews, Randy Couture, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Liam Hemsworth, Bruce Willis, and Arnold Schwarzenegger, The Expendables 2 opens August 17.