Move had been widely expected

The Motion Picture Assn. of America has given Steve McQueen’s “Shame” an NC-17 rating, a move that had been widely expected.

Fox Searchlight is opening the drama on Dec. 2. Searchlight snapped up U.S. distribution rights at the Toronto Intl. Film Festival last month following its premiere at the Venice Film Festival.

Pic, which toplines Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan, is produced by See-Saw Films’ Iain Canning and Emile Sherman.

McQueen, whose first feature “Hunger” also toplined Fassbender, co-wrote the script with Abi Morgan, which follows a 30-something man who shuns intimacy with women but feeds his desires with a compulsive addiction to sex. When his wayward younger sister moves into his Gotham apartment, it triggers memories of their shared painful past.

“Fox Searchlight contacted us immediately after the screening in Telluride to tell us how much they loved the film,” said Canning and Sherman last month. “Their approach to marketing and distributing the film this year was incredibly detailed and impressive. We are excited to be working with them on a film that is sparking debate and a strong emotional reaction to audiences.”

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