Picture Suggests 'Prometheus' Gets 'R' Rating

A photo making its way around the internet suggested that Ridley Scott's "Alien" not-exactly-a-prequel "Prometheus" is sticking with a harder cut. Recently, 20th Century Fox confirmed.

Collider confirmed via official comment from 20th Century Fox that IMDB user dvonnesoneek's photo doesn't lie: the Motion Picture Association of America has indeed given this month's "Prometheus" an R-rating. When addressing the rating to Collider, 20th Century Fox CEO Tom Rothman claimed confirmed that despite the rating citing "sci-fi violence including some intense images, and brief language," the "Alien" universe off-shoot "will not be compromised either way."

It's not an absolutely insignificant move for Scott's film about human scientists following clues to humankind's origins in the universe's darkest uncharted. A PG-13 rating makes a film more broadly accessible, and often means a higher gross. That's not to say that an R is either a death sentence or a guarantee of a better movie. In 2003, "The Matrix Reloaded" hit theaters with an R amid a month in which "X2: X-Men United" hit theaters less than a week earlier. Stiff competition notwithstanding, "The Matrix Reloaded" ultimately grossed $742.1 million.

Here's the thing about the MPAA: they've been pretty much found-out by this point.

First off, people have applied the knowledge that MPAA ratings are rooted in black-and-white standards with no provision for content's context. Case in point, the documentary "Bully" - made with the expressed intention that the film be seen and remembered by both parents and minors alike - receiving an initial R because an interviewed adolescent uses the word "f**k" multiple times when describing his legitimate dislike for one of his victims.

Second, parents frequently ignore the ratings, anyway. I say this from the experience of witnessing a Rascal-bound grandmother and cadre of no less than five children around eight years old (at the oldest) first settling into a theater to watch the Robert Rodriguez-Quentin Tarantino exploitation double feature "Grindhouse", then bolting for the door in less time than it would take to prepare a frozen pizza.

Finally, that's because parents - with little middle ground - tend to ignore the ratings either because they've a good grasp of what their little ankle-biters can handle, or are just too dim to read the rating and have a good idea what to expect.

In this instance, nothing seen in trailers thus far indicates that there's much about "Prometheus" that will be more wildly inappropriate for audiences under 17 than the worst things seen on "Lost", "Doctor Who", many more mature anime selections or any other mainstream television sci-fi franchise. Parents - and inevitably, by extension, the MPAA - are more than welcome to keep underestimating what audiences under 17 can handle.

After all, given the categories many parents fall into when pondering designated ratings, that's not a floodgate that will hold.