“LL: If an adaptation felt to you like an R rating, but the studio wanted you to bring it in at a PG-13, would that be doable?
MR: Oh yeah. It’s completely doable. You don’t sacrifice story by cutting language. Nor do you sacrifice story by showing less blood or gore, or whatever it is that’s bringing you to an R rating. It doesn’t hurt it. When Dexter was aired on CBS they had to re-cut some of it for network television and all they had to do was cut some language. There’s more blood and gore in an episode of C.S.I., though of course Dexter is more disturbing. Not because of what you see, but because of what’s implied. I don’t think you take away from suspense or character by altering a few things like that.
LL: Having read Breaking Dawn, where things get ratcheted up a notch, do you still go for that PG-13 rating?
MR: Oh yeah, absolutely. That’s your audience. In this series you don’t sacrifice anything. There are some movies that wouldn’t play at PG-13, like The Hangover, but this is just not one of them for me. Again, if you’re capturing character, emotion, and emotional journey, you’re OK.”
One thing that is not covered in the article is an issue that for whatever reason repetitively comes up. Breaking Dawn will not go to screen with a rated R rating because contractually it can’t. It would have to be recut to get a PG-13. Part of the deal for Summit to have the rights to the film is no more than a PG-13. You can still have blood and guts (ER’s final season anyone), and steamy romance (Remember Me and the Notebook) without broaching the R-rating.