‘Hitman’ Will Be Rated R and De Toth is Just a Consultant

A representative of Fox emailed me earlier this morning to comment on the news reported by TwitchFilm saying that Nicolas De Toth had taken over control of Hitman in an effort to tone down the “explicitly violent, very bloody cut of the film” turned in by director Xavier Gens. Twitch reported that their sources told them Gens’ cut would have ensured a hard-R rated film and it looked like De Toth would be toning the movie tone, much like he turned Live Free or Die Hard into a bloodless PG-13 film.

Well, Fox wasn’t exactly happy about this as they emailed me telling me the following:

Director Xavier Gens is still working on [Hitman]. The film still has intense action and will definitely be rated “R”. Nicholas De Toth is an editor who has been hired to do some consulting. He is not THE editor(s).

By the way – AVP-R will also be a hard “R” a month after Hitman. It’s not fair to say that Fox waters down/softens all their films for PG-13 ratings…

I emailed back with a few more questions asking whether or not Gens would have final cut, to what capacity De Toth will be consulting and to point out that my original piece mentioned that AVP-R would be R-rated. I had to cover my bases of course.

The studio rep I spoke with could not comment on my questions, but did have this to say:

As you can imagine, we are upset to see this inaccuracy about the rating be spread around. We really are putting out an “R” rated movie, which as you may know really limits us/challenges us in alot of ways in our marketing. [Fox] knows that to capture Agent 47’s essence, this film needs to be an “R”.

I, by no means, never just say, “Okay, thanks,” but this seems to be pretty solid proof that Fox won’t be watering this one down, there really is no need unless they thought the film might get an NC-17 rating, to which I would understand trying to cut it back to an R. While I remain an advocate for getting more NC-17 rated films out there to legitimize the rating I don’t think a videogame adaptation would be the best place to start since videogames have enough angry mothers to contend with already.

However, I think AVP may have been a turning point for Fox as they realized they need to give the fans more of what they want and stop pandering to the lowest common denominator just to get more people to see their films. Quality is just as important with films and the amount of money that is to be made on DVD is astronomical. The lesson is to make better films and you will in turn make more money. Hell, Terry George recently told me that, his film, “Hotel Rwanda made $23 million at the box-office and $48 million on DVD.” If you are going to tell me that Hitman is going to make less than that you are crazy, and it is probably going to top $100 million at the box-office if it is any kind of quality film.

I was told that Hitman should be screened for the MPAA shortly and we should have an official rating soon, but I think we can all expect the R-rating Fox is promising.

Hitman hits theaters on November 21st, for more on the film click here.

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