James Wan Pushes Back Against Horror Fans Complaining That M3GAN Isn’t R-Rated

M3gan doll
(Image credit: Universal Pictures)

When it comes to die-hard horror fans, many like their movies to be gore fests in the vein of this year’s surprise hit, Terrifier 2. But, blood and gut-drenched movies inevitably call for an R rating, so whenever it was announced the upcoming horror movie M3GAN would be PG-13, it sent some horror fans into a bit of a stir. Many took to social media to express their dissatisfaction with the MPAA rating. However, the film’s producers, James Wan and Jason Blum are pushing back against the rating complaints. 

The producing duo spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about everything from the potential merger of their companies to AI-driven filmmaking and the potential for a sequel to the Blumhouse hit, Invisible Man. However, talk soon turned to online “bellyaching” regarding M3GAN’s PG-13 rating. Wan, a well-respected genre director in his own right, said the rating should suit the film and that a PG-13 is appropriate for the AI-Killer doll movie. Wan also said they didn’t have to compromise the scares in order to make a more accessible horror movie. Wan told THR: 

Listen, I’ve done PG-13 films, and I’ve done R-rated films. So I think it’s about whatever is most suitable for the film, and even though M3GAN is a scary movie, teenagers will really dig this. They’ll really like it, and I think it will speak to them in a big way.

James Wan is no stranger to making wonderfully scary PG-13 movies. One of his biggest hits is the horrifying and critically well-received, Insidious. The 2010 flick sports a PG-13 rating and doesn’t hold back on the scares. Fans so liked the movie that it spawned an entire series. The fifth in the franchise, Insidious: Fear the Dark, is forthcoming and was directed by longtime franchise star Patrick Wilson

Jason Blum went a step further in support of the PG-13 rating, saying some of the best horror movies aren’t rated R. Blum said:

Some of the scariest movies of all time are PG-13, so I don’t put too much stock in the bellyaching. Go see the movie, and then tell me about it. (Laughs.)

Jason Blum makes a good point. Some great horror movies have been made in recent years that have been rated PG-13. A Quiet Place, both of the Happy Death Day movies, and the Insidious franchise are just a few recent examples that come to mind. 

The first reactions for M3GAN seem to support the powerhouse-producing duos’ comments about the rating. Many lucky enough to see early screenings of the killer doll movie have been relatively positive. Universal was allegedly so happy with how the film turned out that sequel talks are already happening before the movie has even hit cinemas.  

I love that the filmmakers are keen on creating an excellent scary movie that teens can enjoy. I am a father of a pre-teen daughter, and M3GAN is the first horror movie she’s ever remotely been interested in seeing. Ever since the wild trailer appeared online, she’s been talking about checking it out in the theater, so perhaps, Wan and Blum know what they’re doing. 

Whether a PG-13 rating will hinder an audience’s enjoyment of M3GAN is yet to be seen. Based on the buzz surrounding the new movie’s release, I think we might be in for a new horror villain icon. No R rating required.

Ryan LaBee

Ryan graduated from Missouri State University with a BA in English/Creative Writing. An expert in all things horror, Ryan enjoys covering a wide variety of topics. He's also a lifelong comic book fan and an avid watcher of Game of Thrones and House of the Dragon.