Tom Hooper on PG-13 'King's Speech': 'I wouldn't support cutting the film in any way' -- EXCLUSIVE

tom-hooperImage Credit: Laurie Sparham‘The King’s Speech’ emerged from the weekend as the new Oscar favorite after the Directors Guild of America and the Screen Actors Guild both awarded it their top prizes. But director Tom Hooper expressed skepticism about a reported plan by The Weinstein Company to release a re-cut version of the film, minimizing profanity, that would appeal to a wider PG-13 audience. Before Saturday’s DGA Awards, Hooper told EW, “I wouldn’t support cutting the film in any way. I think we looked at whether it’s possible to bleep out the f—s and stuff, but I’m not going to actually cut that part.” Hooper clarified that no decisions have been made yet; only that TWC was considering it. When asked if the PG-13 edit would broaden the audience, Hooper reiterated, “I’m not going to cut the film.”

Oscar-nominated Helena Bonham Carter supported her director, saying, “I don’t think it needs to be cut down. I think every 13-year-old knows [the words], I think every 8-year-old [does]. It’s the whole point of it. It’s not to be offensive. I think they said they were going to put the bleeps. [The film] is not violent. It’s full of humanity and wit. [It's] for people not with just a speech impediment, but who have got confidence [doubts]. Everyone who has a sense of inadequacy, which is practically everyone.”

The Weinstein Company did not immediately answer requests for comment.

(Reporting by Nicholas White)

Read more:
‘The King’s Speech’ to clean up its language for a PG-13 rating? Bull—t.

Comments (97 total) Add your comment
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  • SC

    Right on.

    Though, to be fair to the Weinsteins, it’s not their fault that the MPAA are morons. There’s absolutely nothing in “The King’s Speech” unsuitable for somebody in junior high.

    • sam

      THANK YOU TOM HOOPER — you are a true director. It’s not as if people under 17 can’t watch this movie — parents can bring them.

    • LOL

      No way in hell should this be cut.

    • Candacetx

      okay parents…this one’s easy Use it as a teaching moment to say:

      “Language like this exists in the world – but that is not how we chose to speak in our homes and in our lives. What did you think about the language and how it was used?”

      problem solved.

      • hecowe

        It’s interesting that you’d say “that’s not how we choose to speak in our homes and in our lives.” But you chose to bring it in your home and expose your child to it. This re-release is targeting children with a stutter — how many of those children will assume that if they use that kind of language, their stutter will magically go away? A film is a commodity as well as art, and Weinstein thinks he can make more money, and help a few kids, by taking out some of the language. Let’s not pretend it’s painting a moustache on the Mona Lisa.

    • Garry

      It’s ironic that EW, which has a list as long as your arm of words they won’t print on their message boards–supposedly not to “offend” younger readers, or those with “family values”–is reporting on a film that includes some four-letter words, but is winning every award in the industry this year. And it’s true–most 13-year olds, and indeed 8-year-olds, know the words and use them, whether we want to acknowledge that or not.

    • Maggi

      In Canada this movie is PG with the swearing. I’m not quiet sure what up with the US. Most people learn about swear word when they are very young. I’ve know about the f word since I was ~2 because I used have trouble with the r in fork and my parent explained to me that I was saying a bad word.

  • googie

    I agree! Should not be touched!If people don’t think their children can handle the language don’t take them. If 13 yr olds are shocked or influenced by the language they have been living in a box!

    • sabrina W

      its not the children, its the parents who want to believe so hard that their precious little kid( who’s not so precious once he hits school grounds)ears and mind are innocent and sweet!! which is a load of BS, u can be the most pc language parent, aunt ever, surprise surprise you’re in the kitchen cooking food and u hear the kids say the darnest words you’re sure u’ve never uttered in front of them, then u have all the music video clips and songs that are so easily access via radio or mtv and bet, uhh i seriously doubt TKS is more offensive than daily viewing & exposure to those mediums

  • Ash

    I don’t really think that there are a ton of 13 year olds clamoring to see the Kings Speech. When I saw it i was the only person under 50 in the theatre.

    • deedith

      I second that I’m in my early 20s and no one wanted to see it with me, I had to force my friends to come.

    • Louise

      I went on Sunday and I was one of only a dozen people who wasn’t rocking a Senior discount.

      • To Louise

        And your point is? Did you like the film? Do you respect the stellar casting and acting?

    • Rio

      My 13 and 16 year olds both really enjoyed it.

      • nancy jo

        My 14 yr old twin boys loved it.

      • Kathy

        My 16 year old daughter’s first comment after seeing it with my husband and I was “Why don’t they make ALL movies that witty?” She adored it!!

      • Danza

        But did they want to see it? Were they asking you to take them? I doubt it and if so good for you for raising kids that can appreciate a historical film.

  • Michelle

    Tome Hooper is right. No need to cut the film. I wouldn’t even support bleeping it. The movie is fantastic as it is.

  • Lisa

    This makes me very happy and even more convinced that Hooper should go on to win the academy award. I’m against even the bleeping. I realize rules are in place to avoid subjectivity, but any cutting ignores the point and effect of that scene. I’m a bigger fan of Mr. Hooper for sticking to his artistic guns.

    • davey

      “This makes me very happy and even more convinced that Hooper should go on to win the academy award”….why, I don’t get that point at all. He should be given an academy award for not wanting his film to be re-edited? Nolan or Fincher SHOULD win the Oscar…but we all know that likley won’t happen now. The King’s Speech is a “safe” pick.

      • Jennifer

        Well we know Christopher Nolan won’t win Best Director because he wasn’t nominated.

      • AcaseofGeo

        I don’t view the magnificent “Kings Speech” as a “safe pick”. If the Academy only went with safe picks, then why did Coens’ win for “No Country…”? Why go “safe” one year and “wild” the next? Makes no sense to me as an argument. There are a lot of other examples but none come to mind right now.

  • whatevs

    Considering how much the movie made this weekend, it’s well on its way to becoming a sleeper hit anyway. The quality of the film will broaden its appeal more than cutting a scene would.

  • Meli

    Why cut a film to ‘not offend’ audiences? Do they think by cutting the film and earning a PG-13 they’re actually going to convince 13-17 year olds to see it? Sorry, cut it all you want but unless you add explosions, a serial killer and graphic violence, or Justin Bieber, you’ve already saturated the film’s audience.

  • AB

    Unless you live in a gutter or have gutter mouth, it’s ridiculous to assume that an 8-year-old understands F-bombs. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to shield kids from profanity. But let’s face it, this isn’t about kids, it’s about box office revenue. In the end, it’s TWC that owns the rights to cut the film. If cutting it adds 8 figures to the box office, so be it!

    • Meli

      Are you intending to take your 8-year-old to see this film? If you are I’ll make sure to not attend the same showing as you. Because when 8-year-olds get bored in movies they get rowdy and ruin everyone else’s ability to watch.

    • HoneyB

      I am constantly surprised by how many parents have a gutter mouth, so, yes, I think kids have heard it. That being said, this is not a movie for 8 year olds, and I agree with Meli, if you bring the kids, let me know so I can avoid it.

    • Jen

      You’re right, there’s nothing wrong with shielding kids from profanity — SO DON’T TAKE THEM TO THIS MOVIE if you are so deluded to believe that their delicate little ears haven’t heard the F-bomb before.

  • Mr. Holloway

    According to Boxofficemojo, it’s a $15 million film that’s already made more than $120 million (including $72 million in the U.S.)

    I just don’t understand why a PG-13 cut to “broaden its appeal” was ever necessary. It seems to be doing really well. What audience do they think they’re not reaching? (Are there really a bunch of teen/pre-teens begging their parents to take them to this one?)

    • minty the candy cane

      There are parents who want to take their kids to see it.

      When I saw it on a Saturday afternoon, there was an entire group of high schoolers there, probably on some sort of school or parent sponsored trip. I think the goal is to broaden appeal to the 13-17 crowd and their families, not to mention more reserved adults to see an R rating and assume there’s sex and violence, not just language that is essential to the story.

      • Mr. Holloway

        Well put.

        I guess I was just confused because, judging by its box office, the movie doesn’t really seem to be having any problem at all reaching an audience.

        Then again, there’s always a way to reach even MORE people, I suppose.

    • bringbackrocky

      Because it’s typical Weinstein behavior to bleed every last dollar out of every movie they’re involved in.

      • Cindy Sue

        and why shouldn’t they

  • Stan Norton

    It is just unbelievable that the MPAA would give THE KINGS SPEECH an “R” and a “PG13″ to THE LITTLE FOCKERS which to me was a disgrace in terms of decency and filmmaking. I would NOT want my teens to see that film but have taken them to see
    the brilliant KING’S SPEECH. Rather than recut — they should re-submit the film and the MPAA should re-rate it a PG13.

    • Mike

      Fockin’ A!

  • Zzzzzz

    The ” colorful” language in The King’s Speech was not gratuitous and it was made obvious that the characters did not usually use these words. I thought it was very funny and appropriate.

    • Kathy

      Absolutely true. The language was very pertinent to the story and the character. Loved this film!!

  • James

    Well said Helena!!

  • J.

    It should have been PG-13 to start with. I do know that a lot of conservative Christian people are staying away from the film simply bc of the rating,even though they’ve been told how brief the cursing scenes are and that the rest of the film is completely clean.

    • what?

      I saw it and i enjoyed it. I am a christian.

      • Rio

        me too – a minister, actually

      • Mole

        J.’s comment isn’t about you guys, it’s about the crazy ones who get all the media attention, and give sensible good folk like you a bad name.

      • hecowe

        Wow. The point of the editing is to give younger audiences (as well as younger audiences who stutter) exposure to this fine film, as well as rake in a few extra bucks for the Weinsteins. Let’s lambaste religion and people who may have different standards than you, while we’re at it. THEY are insane, huh? I’m glad YOU’RE not vitriolic in any way. Live and let live — they’re not picking your pocket or breaking your legs.

  • Lynnys

    Took my 11-year-old and she was completely sucked into the film and loved it. We talked about the few cursing spots afterwards. I’m pretty sure she’s unscathed and learned some great lessons about perseverance and some history.

  • JB

    So, profanity is now art. They did it for the Avatar Bluray, they can do it here. I am 38yrs old and don’t want to hear it. I hate profanity, never use it myself. I’ll rent it with my TVGuardian and that’ll take care of the F-bombs.

    • Jennifer

      Apparently context means nothing to you. The very brief profanity in “The King’s Speech” is not profanity for its own sake nor is it meant to shock; it is part of the treatment process, and the scene that includes less than half a dozen swear words is very important to the development of the story. If you can’t handle it, fine, don’t see the film. No need to shield the rest of us from it unnecessarily.

    • Critic

      Profanity is subjective as is art. Basically, what you are saying is that you need someone else to remove a word or two you find offensive instead of deciding for yourself if the creators of the work have succeeded in making something artistic. It is possible to have words some consider profane in a work of art – like, say, Huck Finn, or the Bible. God gave you a mind. Use it and try to make your own decisions based on what someone created. Then, if you find it profane, fine. Your ears aren’t going to fall off because a very honorable man used the F word a few times in his quest to overcome his fears.

      • Sara

        Well said. If only people would open their minds an inch, instead of living in ignorant oblivion.

    • Fingers in Ears

      La la la la la! I can’t hear you! La la la la la!

    • Kathy

      T*TS to you!! (If you’ve seen the film, you’ll appreciate how incredibly funny that word was!)

    • Tim

      You do that. If you wish hard enough, you can go back to the 1950′s.

    • LOL

      JB is another fake Republican.

      • IMO

        arent they all?

        hey – he’s got his TV guardian: Does it block out Brisol Palin every time she appears on Tv? We wouldnt want to be glorifying teen pregnancy after all. Oh, and when Mary Cheney speaks – is she bleeped? we wouldnt want to expose the little ones to lesbians. Ah.., and when Rick Bennett or OReilly are bloviating on Faux… are they bleeped? We wouldnt want the kiddos seeing hyprocritical professed gamblers or sexual harrassers.

        that poor machine must be working overtime.

      • Meli

        @IMO of course not. Because it’s perfectly acceptable to a TeaBagger for a 15-year-old to get knocked up because her rich parents forced her to keep the baby.

    • Cindy Sue

      Thank you. I too do not enjoy profanity nor do I use it. I don’t know why everyone is all up in arms about us using our freedom to choose by choosing not to see a film that swears. I don’t beleive anyone who doesn’t appreciate swearing is blocking the doors to those who want to see it, nor did we demand that they put out an edited version. The marketers are realizing there is a market for edited films why does it offend your senseabilities to let us see the film edited. It hurts no one for both versions to be sold.

      • Sal

        While I try not to watch movies with excessive profanity, this movie doesn’t belong to that group. It hurt the writer and the director of the movie (and other major crew members) because it takes away from the hard work they put into the making of the movie.

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