While I am not a big fan of Romero’s zombie trilogy, I respect the man for what he has accomplished. When I first heard Universal was going to remake Romero’s 1978 classic, I wondered how they were going to pull it off, considering how they dropped “House of 1,000 Corpses” due to its violent nature. Now, we have the answer. The filmmakers are planning to release the film next spring with a PG-13 rating, saving the extra blood and gore for an unrated director’s cut DVD to follow.
Our source on the set overheard a conversation between the major parties involved in the film that the success of the remake is being hinged on the ability to tap into the teen market with a recognizable franchise name, but without the restrictions an R rating would bring. In a June 13, 2003, review of the “Dawn of the Dead” screenplay, our Brett Myers noted the script by “Scooby Doo” scribe James Gunn felt extremely formulaic, tacking on a “sick amount of gore and atrocity.” Myers’ review continued to describe several scenes that he felt pushed the limit. And now, we’re going to have to wait for the DVD for that?
Yes, I understand there have been a number of successful PG-13 thrillers of late, including “The Ring” and “The Others.” But why go through the trouble of shooting the film as if you were going for an NC-17, with all the disgusting gore and body count, if you’re going to cannibalize the film for mass consumption? It’s already been widely speculated by fansites covering this film that this situation would happen, because fans are smart enough to look at studios with such a cynical eye. They see there are five different releases for “Army of Darkness” and know they are looked upon as geeks who will buy anything that remotely has that “cool” status.
If this does come to pass and “Dawn” does receive a PG-13 rating, I hope genre fans are smart enough to exercise their right to renounce such autonomous business decisions. Demand, if you’re going to get screwed, to get screwed with respect! So what if the sets look fantastic, and the reinserted gore looks appropriately disgusting, and the film has Ving Rhames? You want your bloody disgusting gore from the start!
Fight for your right to be revolted for your $10!
Addendum, August 5, 2003
We have received a number of reports from a wide variety of sources which have Universal saying the film will definitely be rated R, and that the producers of the film were furious with our report, claiming the conversation mentioned in our report never happened.
FilmJerk is glad to hear our report was false, and hope director Zack Snyder is allowed to push the envelope as far as possible. The one thing we have learned from this report is that the fans want the gore.