Clint Eastwood’s latest movie 15:17 to Paris has won an appeal over its original R rating, which the director and producers thought was inappropriate and could possibly limit the audience. Now the true-life drama will be released in theaters with a PG-13 rating instead.
Eastwood was first announced as the director of the project in April. The movie is based on a real incident where three Americans subdued an ISIS terrorist on a train from Amsterdam to Paris in 2015, and is sourced from the novel that was written by the men in the aftermath, titled The 15:17 to Paris: The True Story of a Terrorist, a Train, and Three American Heroes.
Eastwood was reportedly unhappy with the rating that CARA (Classification and Rating Administration) had given to his finished film. It was rated R – supposedly for the actual attack sequence on the train, which marks the center of the plot. The description of the scene qualified it as ‘a sequence of violence and bloody images’, which earned it the mature certification. However, according to THR Eastwood has successfully appealed against that rating, and 15:17 to Paris will now be distributed as a PG-13 with a milder description of the content. Eastwood represented the film and Warner Bros. in the appeals hearing on Wednesday, with the goal to secure that new rating and get the broadest audience possible.
It’s not the first time that appeals like this have taken place. In 2010 The King’s Speech was given an R rating for profanity, due to the sheer amount of f-bombs that Colin Firth utters in a key moment. That was appealed but the rating stood, meaning that an alternative edited PG-13 version was released. In this case it doesn’t seem that Eastwood had to make any concessions, and the appeal stood on its own merit. For their part, the Classification and Rating Appeals Board said they review over 800 movies every year, and it usually sees fewer than 12 ratings appealed.
It’s worth noting that 15:17 to Paris is unusual for the fact that the heroes involved in the story are being played by themselves rather than actors, so will have accurate knowledge of the events. Now that this story of real-life heroes will be available to a wider audience, it will be interesting to see how it fares at the box office next year. We’ll bring you any further updates on 15:17 to Paris as we get them.