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‘Chappie’ Given PG-13 Cut For Japan Without Neill Blomkamp’s Approval

‘Chappie’ Given PG-13 Cut For Japan Without Neill Blomkamp’s Approval

Earning a rather meagre $31 million at the domestic box office, it’s fair to say that Sony was likely disappointed in the results for Neill Blomkamp‘s “Chappie.” And it’s probably just as likely that they are really hoping the international box office takes out some of the sting of the North American haul for the sci-fi film. Which may be why they’ve decided to ensure “Chappie” can capture the broadest audience possible, no matter what the cast.

READ MORE: Review; Neill Blomkamp’s ‘Chappie,’ Starring Die Antwoord, Dev Patel, Sigourney Weaver, And Hugh Jackman

Sony Pictures Japan has released an official statement announcing that “Chappie” has been re-edited for Japan to ensure a PG-12 rating (equivalent to the MPAA’s PG-13). They are open that this has been done “to appeal to a wider audience,” and imply that the changes were made with the director’s approval. But that’s far from the truth.

When fans reached out to Blomkamp on Twitter, he was taken by surprise by the news, calling it “disturbing” and frankly saying that Sony has “lied” about his involvement. We’re sure lots of angry phone calls between agents and executives have happened since, and it’ll be interesting to see how this plays out. We’re also curious if Blomkamp had final cut on the movie, or if Sony can technically edit the movie as they see fit.

At this point, it’s unclear what changes were made, but they must be significant to ensure a friendlier rating. The film is rife with swearing and pretty graphic violence (including one climactic scene, in particular), so I’d be really curious to see just how much has been altered.

READ MORE: Watch: ‘Chappie’ And ‘Short Circuit’ Get Rewired In This Mashup

No matter what you might think of the film, it is disquieting for a studio to cut a movie without at least offering the filmmaker a chance to step in. We’d imagine there will be more to come about this soon. [Kotaku]

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