Zack And Miri Make An Unfortunate Trip Through The MPAA

At tonight's Kevin Smith Comic Con panel, Smith spoke publicly about the ratings trouble plaguing his new film, Zack and Miri Make a Porno. For those who are unfamiliar, the film chronicles a pair of friends' attempt at making a porno film in order to squash some financial woes, and how their relationship develops in the process. Given the raunchy premise, the potential for edgy sexual content was great, and indeed, in the eyes of the MPAA, apparently too great. The film was initially given an NC-17. Smith took the film, made some edits, and resubmitted it to the MPAA, where it was given an NC-17 rating yet again. The film was resubmitted once more and received one final NC-17, so Smith concluded, "I've gone as far as I can go," and appealed the rating.

There are two specific scenes that the MPAA wants cut, one of which involves "thrusting" and the other of which involves acts that are "unspeakable." The appeal will occur on August 4th, after which, if an NC-17 rating is decided, Smith will be contractually obligated to deliver an R-rated film. He does not intend to fight the system on this one and he will make an R-rated cut, although he has said that he would rather make the R-rated film edit himself, since "my R would be a little better" than the studio's R-rated version of the film.

In the past, we've written about how the MPAA gave Smith a difficult time with his teaser trailer. It seems more and more as though the entire process of getting Zack and Miri Make a Porno will serve as an unfortunate and depressing window into not only the MPAA's sexual prudeness but also its increasing desire to have more control over every aspect of a film's marketing materials (especially those on the internet). We at Slashfilm wish Smith the best of luck in getting his new film approved for the mass audience.