The director of “Mrs. Doubtfire” is setting the record straight after a Twitter post went viral for claiming that an NC-17 version of the beloved comedy exists.
According to the @factsonfilm Twitter account, star Robin Williams did so much improvising during filming “that there were PG, PG-13, R, and NC-17 cuts of the film.”
The rumoured existence of a NC-17 “Mrs. Doubtfire” sent the Twitterverse into a frenzy as fans wondered how filthy Williams’ improvs were in order to earn the seldom-used rating.
While filming 'Mrs. Doubtfire' (1993), Robin Williams improvised so much that there were PG, PG-13, R, and NC-17 cuts of the film pic.twitter.com/vjYUCmyrj2
— Film Facts 🎬 (@factsonfiIm) March 18, 2021
The film’s director, Chris Columbus, spoke to Entertainment Weekly to reveal that there’s not NC-17 version — but there was enough off-colour footage shot that their could be.
“The reality is that there was a deal between Robin and myself, which was, he’ll do one or two, three scripted takes. And then he would say, ‘Then let me play.’ And we would basically go on anywhere between 15 to 22 takes, I think 22 being the most I remember,” Columbus recalled.
This, Columbus added, led to multiple variations of scenes, some of which weren’t exactly what would be described as family-friendly.
“He would sometimes go into territory that wouldn’t be appropriate for a PG-13 movie, but certainly appropriate and hilariously funny for an R-rated film. I only [previously] used the phrase NC-17 as a joke. There could be no NC-17 version of the movie,” he added.
In fact, because of all the improvising, Columbus concedes there could actually be “three or four versions of the film.”
And while Columbus has no interest in re-edited the film into those various versions, he said he “would be open to maybe doing a documentary about the making of the film, and enabling people to see certain scenes re-edited in an R-rated version. The problem is, I don’t recall most of it. I only know what’s in the movie at this point because it’s been a long time. But I do remember it was outrageously funny material.”
A documentary, he said, “would be the best approach. I’m very proud of the film… I’m in a good place with ‘Mrs. Doubtfire’, so there’s really no reason to do the definitive cut. The definitive cut of ‘Mrs. Doubtfire’ is out in the world right now.”