Next month's Terminator: Salvation has officially been rated PG-13.
From the film's website:
While the first three Terminator films all garnered an R rating, the first non-Schwarzenegger entry gets the teen-friendly tag for "intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, and language."
I think we all know who to blame for this:
Similarly, 2007's Live Free or Die Hard was the fourth film in an aging, '80s-born franchise. All previous entries had been for the 17-and-up crowd, but the 21st century installment had been toned down to PG-13.
The results? $383 million worldwide, making it the most successful Die Hard film ever. So we should have expected this.
That said - and this is a big "that said." I don't care. I just don't think it will make a lick of difference. While Live Free or Die Hard had to de-fuck one of the most fuckinest-saying characters in movie history, Terminator can be more easily adapted.
Ok, we won't hear "fuck," but it wasn't a huge part of the franchise. What are the lines you remember? They weren't "I'll fucking be back," or "Hasta la fuckin' vista, baby" (although that last one in particular would have been cool). There aren't any misplaced gun shots that have to be placed over catchphrases.
The violence probably won't have to be toned down, either. The series was never that gory, and most of the action in this one seems to be against machines (the MPAA definitely notes a difference). Hell, snip out some swear words and maybe a frame or two of blood, and Terminator 2 would have been PG-13 as well.
There will be some outcry, but it just makes sense. If I was relaunching a somewhat tired franchise - and spending hundreds of millions to do it - I'd certainly want my film to reach as wide an audience as possible. And audiences will be forgiving if the film is half as good as the trailer.