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For anyone worried that director Kevin Smith’s move to big budget studio films with Cop Out, means he’s selling out, think again. Studio movie or not, Kevin’s fighting to keep his buddy cop comedy edgy. This mornin on Twitterhe talked about taking a paycut in order to make Cop Out a rated-R movie. Says Smith, “It was worth it.”
So just how much did he have to give up in order to make the adult movie he wanted? Smith says, “Pay cut was actually 80%. Then I gave up half of that too (but I just got that back, as we came in under-budget).” He explains, “You would've felt the PG13.” Having read the script, I agree. It’s clearly written as a rated-R movie. Try to squeeze it into a PG-13 and you lose most of the comedy. The movie’s funniest supporting character has a curse word for a first name. There’s really no way Cop Out could have worked as a PG-13.
PG-13 movies historically make more money than R-rated ones, so it makes sense that WB might be nervous about releasing a rated R film. After all, this movie exists in an environment where even the Die Hard franchise has been watered down to a PG-13. But it says a lot about both Kevin and Warners that they made it a point to work out a way to deliver the movie this deserves to be.
Interestingly, Smith also hints around that part of his reason for doing Cop Out is to support smaller projects he’s interested in. He tweeted, “It's the Soderbergh model: do their stuff to pay for your stuff.” He’s known to be working on co-writing. He may be working for the man right now, but he’ll get back to the more personal projects he’s known for eventually. Cop Out is Kevin Smith’s Ocean’s 11.