To commemorate the anniversary of the release of 2002’s Scooby-Doo, screenwriter James Gunn has shared his memories of the live-action film, in the process confirming long-swirling rumors that its original cut was R-rated.
How could a big-screen adaptation of a long-running children’s animated property earn an adult rating? It turns out that while the version of Scooby-Doo seen in theaters was goofy kids’ fare, the film was initially more risque, at least by the standards of the time.
“The rumors are true,” Gunn, who’s now far better known for Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy franchise, revealed on Facebook, “the first cut was rated R by the MPAA, and the female stars’ cleavage was CGI’d away so as not to offend. But, you know, such is life.” In the comments to the post, he added that the filmmakers had to cut a line of dialogue that “the MPAA thought referred to oral sex.” Jinkies!
Gunn’s other memories are sweet, and some of them give an insight into how he’s changed as a filmmaker:
“I remember being bummed out that the reviews were pretty terrible. These days I might glance at the occasional review (admittedly, mostly only good ones), but back then I read EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. I also read everything written about the movie online, by, like, anybody, including bulletin board folks. It was a kind of film-self-involvement I’ve learned to avoid since.”
Gunn also recalled the beginnings of some of his closest friendships. He also waxed nostalgic about the time he spent in the beach house rented by Sarah Michelle Gellar and Freddie Prinze Jr. It sounds more like a delightful vacation than a film shoot.