There was certainly some concern in recent weeks that the upcomig sci-fi thriller Prometheus might just be rated PG-13 instead of R.
Yes, it was a little disconcerting to think the alleged prequel for Alien or director Ridley Scott could ever be going soft. Then again, Scott has always been a strong willed director, and it's doubtful he would make cuts to appease anyone. And even by today's standards, the first Alien, which is rated R, is still a fairly strong film.
Collider recently brought this up to Tom Rothman, the CEO of Fox, who promised that no matter the rating, the film would "not be compromised."
There's usually pressure from studios for a big summer blockbuster to get a PG-13 to bring in more families and younger kids, but as Collider now tells us, apparently Prometheus will indeed be rated R . The news broke when someone got an advance ticket for the film, with a clear R printed on the ticket.
After filing this report, Fox confirmed the R rating, as the film contains "sci-fi violence including some intense images, and brief language."
In other related news, the next film from Exorcist director William Friedkin, Killer Joe, has been rated NC-17, instead of R. Apparently, the ending would have to be changed for the movie to win an R rating.
However, this clearly isn't the end of the world for Killer Joe, which, as a bloody black comedy in the vein of Tarantino, has managed to garner a number of (advanced) positive reviews.
As you may recall, the film Shame was also slapped with an NC-17, although it received positive reviews in the press, if not major box office acclaim. In addition, Killer Joe is clearly not a film for kids and families, and even with an R it could only hit a certain audience demographic.
Back in the late 70's when George Romero made the original Dawn of the Dead, the studio bypassed the Ratings Board altogether and released the film unrated because it refused to sacrifice the quality of the project. And in fact, an R rated version of the movie was released, although it was quickly yanked from the theaters after several days when the fans revolted. Back then, you could release a stronger film unrated and still get away with it.