Todd Phillips says directors have no control over ‘Unrated’ DVDs

You’ve probably noticed that just about any “raunchy” comedy is eventually available on “unrated” DVD. I always understood this as a way for the studios to sell you two of the same thing, but I also believed that it was also a chance for directors to include all the extra swearing and muff shots they’d originally intended but had to cut to get an R-rating from the MPAA.  It turns out the latter belief was just a fairy tale, like the female orgasm. As Phillips told a SXSW crowd this week, according to Movieline (his favorite site), directors usually aren’t involved at all:

Phillips’s beef lies with the widespread practice of selling unrated cuts of films on DVD, a marketing move that yielded an overly expository, seven minutes-longer cut of The Hangover and, he says, violates Director’s Guild rules.

“That’s something I have to take up with the DGA,” Phillips told a near-capacity audience at the Austin Convention Center. “Warner Bros., they’ll make your movie; your movie does well, and they want to create an unrated version, which is entirely against DGA rules because it’s not your cut. And they can’t call it the ‘Director’s Cut’ — they’ll call it ‘Unrated’ or some ridiculous term. Really all it is, is about seven minutes of footage that you cut out of the movie for a reason.”

“That won’t happen on Hangover 2,” he added. “The truth is that the unrated DVD, I probably could have killed, and they explained to me why they wanted to do it and what it meant as a marketing device. The fact that it ended up on HBO… was an incredibly large f*ck-up. That shouldn’t have happened. So that’s not going to happen again.”

I had a similar question about whether The Town “director’s cut” DVD was actually a cut Ben Affleck preferred or just an alternate cut they used to sell more DVDs, since the new version was so expository and lame that it actually made me wonder if my belief that Affleck was a solid director had been based on him just having really smart editors and producers.  Either way, both guys should be thankful they’re not working in porn, where, if you’re lucky, you get paid a grand or two to star in something you think is going to tasteful, and next thing you know your face is on the box for Fat Ugly Jizz Dumpsters 77.