In a recent interview, M3GAN (read our review HERE) director Gerard Johnstone discussed the reshoots done to give the film a PG-13 rating, saying that he felt the PG-13 scenes were actually more effectively disturbing than the R-rated moments they replaced . But in an interview with Los Angeles Timesscreenwriter Akela Cooper (who previously wrote the slasher Malignant for producer James Wan) indicated that she preferred the bloodier, deadlier version of the story – and she hopes to see an unrated cut of M3GAN on home video.
When asked how bloody her M3GAN script was, Cooper replied, “No shade to Universal, love them and I understand that when the trailer went viral, teenagers got involved and you want them to be able to see it. There should be an unrated version at some point. … I’ve heard it’s in the books. But yes, it was much worse. Her body count in the script was higher than in the film. It wasn’t a Gabriel [in Malignant]massacre, but she killed a lot more people, including a few characters that James was like, ‘I like what you did to those people, but I want them to live.’ I was ruthless, but then again, that’s me. My sense of humor is extremely dark.“
Since Malignant and M3GAN both considered to be pretty wild movies, the Los Angeles Times also asked Cooper, “As the writer behind two of the wildest studio horror films in years, does it feel like there’s more freedom now to take big swings at this level?“She answered,”It’s exciting because for so long everyone was doing ‘heightened horror’. Even when I went out and pitched, I’d have people say, ‘We like it, but it’s too bloody. It is not elevated.’ An executive who read one of my specs and really liked it said, ‘It’s gory, and no one is doing gore right now. We have to wait for a horror movie gone wrong to come out and be a hit and then the market will shift.’ I sat there and said, “Ok … we could lead the charge.” Now I am [hearing], ‘There is blur and it’s not a problem.’ I’m glad I could help bring back fun horror that doesn’t take itself too seriously. I’m reading about more horror movies that are wild, ideas coming out or getting bought. And some of them are original, which is good! I’m glad I could steer that ship so studio managers can say, ‘Oh! There may actually be money in them thar trays.’“
Cooper wrote M3GAN from a story created by producer James Wan. The film has the following synopsis:
She is more than just a toy. She is part of the family.
From the most prolific minds in horror – James Wan, the filmmaker behind Saw, Insidious and The Conjuring series, and Blumhouse, the producer of the Halloween movies, The Black Phone and The Invisible Man – comes a fresh new face in horror.
M3GAN is a marvel of artificial intelligence, a lifelike doll programmed to be a child’s best companion and a parent’s greatest ally. Designed by genius toy company roboticist Gemma, M3GAN can listen and watch and learn as she becomes a friend and teacher, playmate and protector for the child she bonds with. When Gemma suddenly becomes the caretaker of her orphaned 8-year-old niece, Cady, Gemma is unsure and unprepared to become a parent. Under intense pressure at work, Gemma decides to pair her M3GAN prototype with Cady in an attempt to solve both problems – a decision that will have unimaginable consequences.
Allison Williams (Go out), Violet McGraw (The Haunting of Hill House), Ronny Chieng (Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings), Brian Jordan Alvarez (Will & Grace), Jen Van Epps (Cowboy Bebop), Lori Dungey (The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring), and Stephane Garneau-Monten (Straight ahead) star.
A collaboration between Universal Pictures, Blumhouse Productionsand Atomic Monster, in connection with Divide/Conquer, M3GAN was produced by James Wan and Jason Blum. Williams serves as executive producer along with Mark Katchur, Ryan Turek, Michael Clear, Judson Scott, Adam Hendricks and Greg Gilreath.
Next up for Cooper is another Wan film: she has written the script for The nun 2which Wan produces and Michael Chaves (The Curse of La Llorona, The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It) instructs.
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