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.