It looks like McG may have lost his bid to have his upcoming Terminator Salvation rated R, at least if we can believe the Pizza Hut promotional tie-in Web site, which shows the film with a PG-13 rating.
Of course, Warner Brothers has not announced the film's rating officially, so it's possible the PG-13 rating on the Pizza Hut site is an error.
If the movie does carry the rating, it would mark a softening of the franchise, whose three previous films have all carried the harder R rating.
McG has waffled about whether he'd be OK with the lighter rating, but has argued that he didn't shoot the movie to achieve any particular rating. (Indeed, he shot one scene—featuring a topless Moon Bloodgood standing provocatively in the rain—in a way that would only be allowable under the R rating. McG riled up the crowd at WonderCon in San Francisco in March to get them to cheer to keep the scene intact as Warner Brothers executives watched.)
At a January preview of Terminator Salvation footage, McG was asked about what rating he wanted for the film.
"We don't care about the rating," he said. "We can't aim for the rating. There's one guy in the world who would be sharp with me about the rating, and he's sitting in here right now. He's [Warner Brothers executive] Jeff Rabinov, and we talked about this at Comic-Con. No joke. Jeff, rightfully so, because he's a tough businessman and people can run numbers at you, 'It's this, it's that, you'll lose money.' And Rabinov was the one who was cool enough to say, 'Just shoot the movie. I'm not worried about it.' All three of those [previous Terminator] films are R, so you've got a fearless Warner Brothers, which was excellent for us, because it freed us up to just shoot the movie. Now, having said that, I'm not hung up about a PG-13. I look at The Dark Knight, and I think that picture was made compromise-free. I think it's an excellent artistic achievement, and I don't come out of there going, 'Oh, if it would have been a little gorier, I would have liked it more.' To the contrary. We don't aim for a rating, and we've been given freedom by the head of the studio to just make the best picture possible."
Terminator Salvation opens May 21. (Thanks to IESB.net for the heads-up.)