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Gina Carano's 'Haywire' stuck with R rating

November 15, 2011 |  3:35 pm


EXCLUSIVE: "Haywire," the Steven Soderbergh spy thriller that marks the acting debut of mixed martial arts star Gina Carano, won't be available to a large majority of the teen market.

The ratings board at the Motion Picture Assn. of America has upheld its R rating for the film,  said a person close to the group who was not authorized to discuss the decision publicly.

"Haywire," which will be released Jan. 20 by Relativity Media, hopes to target a youthful audience. Mixed martial arts draws disproportionately from teens, twentysomethings and thirtysomethings; Saturday's Junior dos Santos-Cain Velasquez fight on Fox, for instance, won its time slot in the 18-34 demographic. The prospect that filmgoers under 17 won't be able to buy tickets to “Haywire” without an adult present is a blow to the movie and to Relativity, which had spearheaded the appeal.

A globetrotting action movie that derives as much from "Warrior" as the Jason Bourne films, "Haywire" shows Carano as a kind of female assassin, taking care of her enemies (and she has many) with her fists as well as her brains, with Michael Fassbender and Michael Douglas costarring. "Why is Angelina [Jolie] currently the only woman who's allowed to run around with a gun and beat people up?" Soderbergh recently told an AFI audience. "Someone 20 years ago put Steven Seagal in a movie. Why don't we step it up?"

The MPAA does not offer details on appeals, although “Haywire” does feature a number of scenes of intense physical violence.  (The initial ruling was given because of “some violence.”) Intriguingly, the movie  is relatively light on the weaponry and other accouterments of some violence-heavy movies that merit only a PG-13, such as “Sucker Punch."

It's unlikely the studio could remove the most violent “Haywire” fight scenes, which are woven into the fabric of the film.

A Relativity spokesman did not immediately comment on the decision.

The MPAA sees a number of appeals each year, occasionally overturning its earlier decisions. Last year it famously decided to knock "Blue Valentine" from an NC-17 to an R after being lobbied by Harvey Weinstein, the film's distributor.


With 'Haywire,' Soderbergh tries a new trick

--Steven Zeitchik


 Photo: Gina Carano in "Haywire." Credit: Relativity Media

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