You might think of writer/director Roger Avery having a penchant for violence and swearing – after all, he co-wrote Pulp Fiction and brought the world Killing Zoe and The Rules Of Attraction. But you might not have the same idea about Neil Gaiman.
But they are both – along with Beowulf director Robert Zemeckis – craving to release a version of the movie free from the constricting grip of censors and ratings board. Why? Mostly, because it would be fun. In fact, an earlier draft of the script contained plenty more swearing, which had star Ray Winstone smiling. “Are you the blokes that wrote this?” Gaiman recalls him coming in to their office to ask. “I love it – especially the swearing!” Sadly for the actor, the writers were busy trimming out – or converting the bad language to ancient tongues so the film could get a box office friendlier PG-13 rating in the US (or around a 12A -15 to us).
But speaking at an exclusive footage screening Total Film attended at the San Diego Comic Con last night, Gaiman and Avery admitted that, if they get their way, an unrated version of the movie would be released on DVD. “There are plenty of ways to hide blood to sneak it past the ratings boards,” Gaiman chuckled. “You can turn it black or green, for a start…” We’re assured that should the unrated version get the green light, the claret will be returned to its proper colour.
You’ll be able to watch the “safe” version when it attacks cinemas in November.