On Friday, Mrs. Doubtfire went viral. One of those movie trivia accounts tweeted out info from a 2015 interview with director Chris Columbus, who said his movie — in which Robin Williams plays a divorced dad who poses as an older English nanny so he can spend more time with his kids — had many different cuts, including one that was R, even one that was NC-17. It was the latter bit that caught people’s attention.
Release the Mrs. Doubtfire NC-17 Cut https://t.co/0rJaYqkBhM
— Carl Franzen (@carlfranzen) March 19, 2021
What could they have filmed that would have drawn the ire of the MPAA, the group that gives movies ratings? Alas, it was not to be. Entertainment Weekly reached out to Columbus, and while he said Williams, a famous ad-libber, definitely went blue in unused takes, he did not go the modern equivalent of an X.
“The reality is that there was a deal between Robin and myself, which was, he’ll do one or two, three scripted takes,” Columbus said. “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.”
Williams would definitely go well beyond a family-friendly rating. “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,” he said. “I only [previously] used the phrase NC-17 as a joke. There could be no NC-17 version of the movie.”
But will you ever see the R-rated Mrs. Doubtfire? Maybe, sort of. “I 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,” Columbus explained. “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.”
For now, you’re stuck with the original Mrs. Doubtfire, which is at least a semi-spicy PG-13, not a kiddie-only PG. Or you could watch the Mrs. Featherbottom stretch of Arrested Development.