Sometimes it can be difficult to keep track of the latest and hottest movie releases, but it definitely wasn’t the case M3GAN. Even before the horror film premiered M3GAN garnered a lot of attention, inspiring viral videos and Halloween costumes months before its debut in 2023. However, one major change was made between the initial trailer release and the film’s premiere: the rating. It may seem hard to believe, but M3GAN was originally intended as an R-rated film.
2023 M3GAN is a film like no other. When 8-year-old Cady loses her parents, she is forced to live with her Aunt Gemma, played by Allison Williams. Gemma introduces Cady to a special project she’s been working on: M3GAN. At first, the robotic doll seems like a dream come true for Cady, but it doesn’t take long for things to go wrong.
The film is directed by Gerard Johnstone, who originally had a more violent R-rated vision for the film. However, after some discussion, the producers decided to make some changes so that the film could be released with a PG-13 rating, which meant extensive editing and reshooting had to be done. In interviews, Johnstone has been candid about how going back for the reshot scenes actually made some of the moments even scarier. Collider’s feature showed the silver lining behind it all.
Jason Blum and James Wan, two of the M3GAN Producers spoke to The Hollywood Reporter to break down all the details behind the rating change.
Some of the scariest movies of all time are PG-13,” Blum said, adding, “I don’t put too much stock in stomach ache. Watch the film and then tell me about it.”
Wan also wanted to talk about his own experiences with differently rated horror movies, saying, “Listen, I’ve done PG-13 movies and I’ve done R-rated movies. So I guess it’s about what works best for the movie and even though M3GAN is a scary movie, teenagers will really like that. They’re going to really like it and I think it’s going to appeal to them a lot.”
A PG-13 rating was critical to its manufacture, according to the producers M3GAN would be more accessible, especially for the youth demographic. And since none of the plot seemed to be affected by this change, it seemed like the right decision.
M3GAN is a fictional film, but the plot is based on a very real technology that surrounds so many on a daily basis. With that in mind, many have wondered if the film serves as a warning as well as entertainment.
When the subject came up in his interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Blum responded candidly, “I think M3GAN is a cautionary tale. You see both sides of AI in the film and the good and bad it can do. So it’s about being very careful about how we use our AI and recognizing the power it has to do good and evil.” This just seems like one more reason to watch the film about the everyone raves.