Chris Evans' Profanity-Filled Knives Out Trailer Scene Was Changed To Avoid An R Rating

Chris Evans in Knives Out

Although it’s primarily a whodunnit murder mystery, Knives Out looks like it will have its fair share of amusing moments, including one shown off in the first trailer where Chris Evans’ Ransom Drysdale-Thrombey points out members of his family and tells them to “eat shit.” One person even gets a “definitely eat shit.”

As it turns out, this Knives Out scene could have been a lot more profane, as Rian Johnson, the writer and director, originally had Chris Evans’ character drop f-bombs instead. But he ultimately reversed course in order to avoid his movie getting stamped with an R rating. Johnson explained during his recent appearance on the ReelBlend podcast:

When I wrote it, it was ‘Fuck you.’ He goes, ‘Fuck you, fuck you, fuck you, fuck YOU…’ I decided right before we started shooting, I was like, ‘You know what? I really want this movie to be PG-13.’ Because I was thinking about growing up as a kid and watching those Peter Ustinov Poirot movies with my family and thinking that was the age when I got into this stuff. I thought, ‘You know what? Let’s make this change.’ I pulled a lot of f-bombs. There were a lot more f-bombs in this script!

It would have been easy enough to have Chris Evans repeatedly say “fuck you” to his co-stars, but as Rian Johnson laid out, he didn’t want Knives Out to be a movie that only adults could enjoy on the big screen. Thinking back to his childhood watching Peter Ustinov playing the Agatha Christie-created Hercule Poirot (a role currently held by Kenneth Branagh) across numerous theatrical and TV movies, he wanted Knives Out to deliver a similar experience for families today.

So out went the “fuck you” and in came the “eat shit,” although since Knives Out is rated PG-13, presumably Rian Johnson kept in at least one f-bomb. Since Johnson made the dialogue change right before the scene was shot, we won’t get to see the original version as deleted material on the Knives Out home media release, but maybe some alternate scenes will be included that have these other f-bombs the filmmaker mentioned.

Knives Out is Rian Johnson’s first movie since Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and while that was met with polarizing reception among Star Wars fans and is still spawning many online arguments, Knives Out is a critical darling, ranking at 97% among critics on Rotten Tomatoes. As far as what its commercial performance could look like, estimates from October placed Knives Out at making between $15-$20 million opening weekend domestically.

Chris Evans is just one member of Knives Out sprawling ensemble cast, with others including Daniel Craig, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Shannon, Toni Collette, Lakeith Stansfield, Ana de Armas, Don Johnson, Katherine Langford and Christopher Plummer. The story follows the investigation into the murder of a wealthy crime novelist following his 85th birthday party.

Having already held its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in early September, Knives Out will be released to the masses on November 27, so stay tuned to CinemaBlend for more coverage, including our review of the movie. For now, find out what movies are coming out over the next year with our 2019 release schedule and 2020 release schedule.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore, Adam is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He started working for the site back in late 2014 writing exclusively comic book movie and TV-related articles, and along with branching out into other genres, he also made the jump to editing. Along with his writing and editing duties, as well as interviewing creative talent from time to time, he also oversees the assignment of movie-related features. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Journalism, and he’s been sourced numerous times on Wikipedia. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.