*The upcoming Will Smith movie "Hancock" is having trouble getting the PG-13 rating desired by the film's producers.
According to the New York Times, the $150 million film has been submitted twice to the ratings board and tagged each time with an R, citing several objectionable scenes.
Director Peter Berg revealed that the movie – starring Smith as an unconventional, alcoholic superhero – contained scenes of a statutory rape up until three weeks ago. Another scene, changed before filming began, had Hancock getting drunk with a 12-year-old. The final version features the same scene with a 17-year-old.
Nevertheless, Berg says that the film "remained surprisingly sexual, violent and true in spirit to an original script" from screenwriter Vincent Ngo. His early draft was considered "brilliant, but unfilmable" in early studio buzz.
The current film is now undergoing a tug-of-war of sorts between the filmmakers who want to keep the darker and more dramatic meat of the story - and both the studio execs and ratings boards who want something that will pull in as big an audience as possible under a PG-13 rating.
Helping soothe this is the film's marketing campaign, which apparently plays up the lighter and more comedic moments of the film. [See trailer below.] Berg admits: "The ad campaign for this movie is much friendlier than the film." Sony chief Amy Pascal says "It’s scary in that it goes farther than we’ve gone before."