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'M3GAN' is getting an unrated version as horror hit sets Blu-Ray, digital release - what you need to know

Remember that "gorier" version Akela Cooper was talking about? Well, here it is!

By Josh Weiss
M3GAN (2023)

M3GAN won't hold back when the unrated version of the hit film arrives on Blu-Ray and DVD Tuesday, March 21. If you're not big on physical media, you can still gain access to the unrated cut and a slew of bonus features with the Digital release next Friday — Feb. 24.

"No shade to Universal, love them, and I understand that once the trailer went viral, teenagers got involved and you want them to be able to see it," screenwriter Akela Cooper said last month. "There should be an unrated version at some point. ... I heard it is on the books. But yes, it was way gorier ... Her body count in the script was higher than in the movie."

RELATED: 'M3GAN' composer Anthony Willis breaks down his 'hypnotic tech-wonder' score for new horror classic

The film ultimately went through a number of reshoots to nab a PG-13 rating for its theatrical rollout, but director Gerard Johnstone felt that the sinister implication of violence (as opposed to showing it outright) made the thing much scarier as a result.

"Making it PG-13 was something that happened after the fact, but it was always so close to PG-13, anyway. It seemed kind of a mistake not to embrace it," he explained. I even remember thinking early on, 'This could be PG-13, and some of my favorite films like Drag Me to Hell are PG-13.' So we made the decision to go PG-13 and actually reshot a couple of things. What I was really stoked about is that when we reshot those scenes, they were more effective. It's like 'Yes, you do have to cut away at certain times' but it's fun having to rely on sound and suggestion so much."

The special features are as follows:

  • A New Vision of Horror — Filmmakers and cast break down how the world of M3GAN was created, including the initial idea, through production under the leadership of director Gerard Johnstone
  • Bringing Life to M3GAN — See how animatronics, puppets, and actor Amie Donald helped make M3GAN as real as possible
  • Getting Hacked — A behind-the-scenes look at how cast and crew accomplished some of the film's complex stunts and gory deaths

M3GAN stars Allison Williams (Get Out) as Gemma, a toy company roboticist who makes the mistake of pairing her eight-year-old niece, Cady (Violet McGraw), with a machine capable of thinking — and killing — for itself. Ronny Chieng (Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings), Brian Jordan Alvarez (Will & Grace), Jen Van Epps (Cowboy Bebop), Lori Dungey (The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, extended edition), and Stephane Garneau-Monten (Straight Forward) round out the principal cast.

James Wan (Aquaman) and Jason Blum (Halloween Ends) produced the film. Wan also conceived of the screen story with Cooper. Mark Katchur (Whiplash), Ryan Turek (Halloween Ends), Michael Clear (Malignant), Judson Scott (The Curse of La Llorona), Adam Hendricks (Black Christmas), and Greg Gilreath (Vengeance) served as executive producers alongside Williams.

M3GAN is currently playing in theaters and available to rent/purchase (without the special features) on VOD platforms like Vudu. To date, the film has made over $167 million at the worldwide box office. A sequel entitled M3GAN 2.0 is currently in development and slated for a big screen debut in early 2025. Johnstone, Williams, and McGraw are all locked in to return.

M3GAN Blu-Ray Box

Looking for even more killer doll fun? Check out SYFY's Chucky series — the first season of which is now streaming on Peacock. The hit series (based on the long-running Child's Play film franchise) was recently picked up for a third season.