Posted on Sunday, March 1st, 2009 by Peter Sciretta
When production first began on Terminator Salvation, rumors began to circulate that Warner Bros wanted the film to be PG-13. At Comic-Con last year, McG assured fans in attendance that he is under no pressure to deliver a PG-13 rating. Referring to the studio executives for this film, McG explained “I’ve been given their blessing to make the picture…and if it’s a rated R picture, then that’s that.” He elaborated that he’s not against the idea of a PG-13 rating, but that the ultimate rating will depend completely upon what the final vision for the film is. When I was on the film set, McG showed us a reel of early footage from the film. One of the clips included Moon Bloodgood topless in the rain, which to me, confirmed that McG wasn’t lying.
Today at WonderCon, McG made a point to mention that Warner Bros wants him to cut out the topless footage from the film. He insisted that he thinks that it should remain in the released feature film, citing that Bloodgood’s character is partly a homage to James Cameron’s Sarah Connor — a strong yet beautiful woman. McG polled the audience, asking if they wanted to see the scene in the final film, which got the response that you might expect from an overwhelmingly male comic convention crowd. Having seen the footage myself, not in the context of the film or even scene, I will say this – it was beautifully and tastefully shot. I’m not sure if it furthers the story along (as I said, I did not see the shot in the context of the full scene), but it didn’t seem gratuitous at all.
It seems to me that the only reason that Warner Bros would want the scene cut from the film is if they want a PG-13 cut of the film. There is no other possible reason. McG publicly called out the name of the Warner Bros executive that is pushing for the removal of the shot in question, and made it clear that he would like to keep the shot in. And while McG didn’t flat out say that he wants to fight for a R-Rating, that’s how it came across to me and most everyone in the convention hall. And making a public statement is a strong message to the movie studio producing the film. McG’s vision is evidently R-Rated after all, but will the film be edited down for a more marketable (potentially more profitable) PG-13 rating?