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The Meg is a giant monster movie about a massive sea creature capable of a great deal of destruction. It's the sort of thing that would be perfect for an R-rated action movie. It's so perfect for a more adult take that it turns out there are some much more violent scenes. Unfortunately, it doesn't appear we'll ever get to see them. Director Jon Turteltaub admits that he actually shot many more bloody scenes for his new film, before ultimately realizing they'd never made the cut. According to the director...
We shot or even did a lot of visual effects for [gory scenes]. We just realized there's no way we're keeping this PG-13 if we show this. It's too fun a movie to not let people who don't like blood and people who are under, say, 14 years old into the theater. I was very hesitant to cut out a lot of blood and gore. I wouldn't have if I thought it was wrecking the story but it wasn't. It still looked okay. I'll sit down privately with your audience and take them through some really nasty shit.
It's not uncommon for some films to need to be toned down in order to hit a wider audience. The difference between who can see a PG-13 movie and who can see an R-rated movie is significant and frequently studios don't want to artificially limit things like that. However, director Jon Turteltaub admits to Bloody Disgusting that the decision to keep The Meg a PG-13 movie was ultimately his own. He didn't want people who don't like excessive blood and guts to have to skip the movie since the story didn't actually require the more violent scenes.
Of course, since the more violent scenes do exist, it seems like The Meg would be the perfect candidate for one of the "Unrated" Blu-ray releases, right? It turns out, not so much. While some of these more violent and bloody scenes were shot, apparently, most or all of them never completed the post-production phase, so getting an Unrated DVD of The Meg finished would actually cost a lot of money, something it's unlikely anybody would pay for.
The problem nowadays with those unrated DVDs is you used to have a bunch of scenes that were easy to either shoot or leave on the cutting room floor. Now to finish a scene costs millions in VFX. No one's going to be spending millions of dollars just to have a little extra bonus footage.
While we might not get an Unrated edition with a lot of extra blood and guts, we could still get a Blu-ray version of The Meg that includes some of these sequences as deleted scenes. We probably won't get a complete screen worthy cut, but we may get a taste of what the R-rated version would have looked like. The Pg-13 version of The Meg hits theaters Friday.