‘Fifty Shades’ Producer: NC-17 Cut Could Bow After R-Rated Run

Fifty Shades of Grey Casting

Unlike most production teams fighting to overturn NC-17 (and even R) ratings, “Fifty Shades of Grey” producer Dana Brunetti told Collider that he wants to release a supplemental NC-17 version of the film.

Although the team currently has no distribution plan in place, Brunetti said the release will be R-rated despite its explicit sex. But he thinks an alternate NC-17 cut could hit theaters after the original premieres.

“It’ll be R, obviously it has to be R,” Brunetti told the site. “This is just my opinion and this doesn’t mean this is going to happen, but I always thought it would be really cool if we released the R version and then we had an NC-17 version that we released a few weeks later. So everybody could go and enjoy the R version, and then if they really wanted to see it again and get a little bit more gritty with it, then have that NC-17 version out there as well.”

The novel, the first in a trilogy penned by E.L. James, depicts the virginal Anastasia Steele who gets into S&M and raunchy sex with her lover Christian Grey. Brunetti said releasing a raunchier version of the film might appease the hard-to-please fan base as well as studio heads who would “get a double dip on the box office.”

“What we’re kind of hearing from the fans is they want it dirty, they want it as close as possible [to the book],” he said. “We want to keep it elevated but also give the fans what they want.”

Brunetti also addressed the thorny casting process, which led fans to create online petitions championing actors for the lead roles and later demanding recasting when Charlie Hunnam and Dakota Johnson stepped into the shoes of Steele and Grey. Jamie Dornan has since taken over the role of Grey.

“No matter who we cast, people were gonna be angry about it,” Brunetti said. “And then we obviously had the one that we cast that ultimately didn’t work out. We have to meet the ideas of the fans to an extent and make them happy, although you’re not gonna make them happy because they’re thinking of somebody else in their mind. And I always thought it would be better if we went with somebody unknown so then everyone can discover them together. That’s where I really think we are now with Jamie and Dakota.”

Universal Pictures recently pushed back the sexy drama’s release from August 1, 2014 to Valentine’s Day, 2015.

PHOTOS: Jamie Dornan: From Model to ‘Fifty Shades’

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  1. honeipye says:

    I still believe it should be an HBO or Showtime after dark series with an Mature rating.

  2. Ryan says:

    It’s about time that a movie be released as NC17 without the stigma attached

  3. mary says:

    either way…I will be there !!!!!

  4. Gary says:

    What is the current MPAA policy about multiple rated versions in theatrical release simultaneously? It used to be that a movie had to be out of theatrical release for 90 days before a different rated version could play. The film could still show in colleges, museums, film societies, etc. from non-theatrical distributors in the X rated version during this 90-day period and after. I remember not being able to show LAST TANGO IN PARIS, MIDNIGHT COWBOY, A CLOCKWORK ORANGE and EMMANUELLE in theaters while audience flocked to those other venues. And after their R rated releases, some were resubmitted to the MPAA to revert back to X, some later taking advantage of the automatic conversion to NC-17 if rated X by the MPAA. We had to be really careful that we got the version we wanted to show as the cans got mixed up at the film depot.

    While anyone could self apply the X rating, the MPAA could provide an official X to a film submitted, including hard core porn.

    Of course the MPAA long ago stopped holding their members to ratings rules for home video releases where alternate unrated or “harder” versions are allowed to be released but theaters cannot show them.

    Every few years when the specter of an NC-17 rating for a studio release comes up, some studios will shy away, stating their company has never released a film with such the most restrictive rating. In fact every major studio released X-rated films—not porn but “serious” themed movies with very adult content. Universal released BIRDS IN PERU and CAN HEIRONYMUS MERKIN EVER FORGET MERCY HUMPPE AND FIND TRUE HAPPINESS? And the first NC-17, HENRY AND JUNE.

    Barely related anecdote: I will never forget the kiddie matinee of HEY THERE IT’S YOGI BEAR where some projectionist thought it would be pretty funny to switch leaders and cans with a print of EMMANUELLE which then was shipped to our theater. Both Columbia pictures right? Luckily our projectionist noticed that YOGI was 89 minutes and the print we got was longer (105 minutes) and saved us from a parental nightmare.

  5. Jim says:

    What if it sucks?

    You’ll have to rated a “G” in order to sell tickets to all ages to make back it’s Comcast money.

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