Confirmed: Ridley Scott’s PROMETHEUS Is Rated R (Updated)

by     Posted 2 years, 116 days ago


There’s been heavy speculation over whether Ridley Scott‘s sci-fi horror film Prometheus would receive an R-rating.  The blockbuster film carries a big price tag, and a PG-13 rating would probably mean a much higher take at the box office.  However, when Steve spoke with 20th Century Fox CEO Tom Rothman, Rothman said the movie “will not be compromised either way,” and the studio would accept whatever the MPAA handed down.

According to a pre-sale ticket stub, the MPAA has handed down an R-rating for Prometheus.  I’m not sure if that automatically makes the movie better, but I’m happy for the opportunity to see an ambitious summer blockbuster with an R-rating.  The last R-rated sci-fi summer blockbuster I can recall is 2003′s The Matrix Reloaded.  However, it’s late and I’m tired, so I might be forgetting another R-rated summer sci-fi movie released since then. Prometheus opens in 3D on June 8th.  Hit the jump to check out the ticket and the film’s trailer.

Update: Steve here.  20th Century Fox has confirmed Prometheus will be rated R for “sci-fi violence including some intense images, and brief language.”  Our original story after the jump.

Ticket via IMDb user dvonnesoneek:


Here’s the latest trailer for Prometheus.  The film stars The film stars Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, Idris Elba, Guy Pearce, Rafe Spall, Sean Harris, Logan Marshall-Green, and Charlize Theron.


Here’s the official synopsis for Prometheus:

Ridley Scott, director of “Alien” and “Blade Runner,” returns to the genre he helped define. With PROMETHEUS, he creates a groundbreaking mythology, in which a team of explorers discover a clue to the origins of mankind on Earth, leading them on a thrilling journey to the darkest corners of the universe. There, they must fight a terrifying battle to save the future of the human race.


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  • Nick

    I mean it was released in march, but it had all the expectations and budget of a summer blockbuster, so shouldnt we be including Watchmen as the last big R rated blockbuster? Speaking of which, it had a disapointing gross. Though I think that more had to do with the narrow audience, and lack of big name talent. I loved the movie, but the watchmen had stupidly high box office expectations before it was released. It grossed about what I would have always expected.

    Prometheus on the other hand has both big name talent and THE big name sci fi director and should also benefit all of the “kinda sorta maybe an alien prequel” talk. I still hope their expectations wont be TOO HIGH but I don’t think the circomestances are nearly as bad as those watchmen suffered under going into its release.

    • nkutzler

      He said “Sci-Fi”, which Watchmen is not. There are almost no similarities between the movies or their situations. Scott is a revered director who started decades ago, while Snyder prefers a sort of B-movie for modern audiences. And I loved Watchmen, but it’s based on source material that people were afraid they’d mess up ( I think it was improved). There’s no argument that Ridley Scott made the Aliens franchise everything great it is today and the Prometheus story is something that nobody else knows.

      • Joel

        Watchmen ‘not Sc-Fi’? Then what the hell is Dr Manhattan?

      • Grayden

        Joel, Dr. Manhattan is an anomaly in a fictional setting. He’s the only one with real superpowers. The work itself is fictional, bordering on fantasy with Manhattan’s inclusion. Sci-fi is almost always set in the future and is used as a vehicle to describe present society, its pitfalls and achievements, where humans are going, and what we COULD be once we get there. Watchmen is NOT science fiction by any stretch. Its no more science fiction than Batman or X-Men have ever been.

      • Nash

        Well, their situations are actually remarkably similar. Watchmen isn’t sci-fi in the same way that Prometheus is, but it’s certainly fiction involving technology outside of what is currently possible (and includes a nuclear man, remember?). Superheroes or not, Watchmen is sci-fi.

        Further, Prometheus is based on the Alien franchise, which everyone was afraid they’d mess up way back before any information was released beyond “it’s an Alien prequel.” And in Watchmen’s case, its R-rating had a lot to do with why it was successful – making it kid friendly would have ruined it, and so would making anything Alien-related kid-friendly.

      • w@velength

        Watchmen… Not Sci-Fi?


        That “anomaly” in a fictional story? That’s called science-fiction, son. Dr. Manhattan. Giant glass cities on Mars. Cancer as an aerosal spray. Gay airships. None of this is possible, except in an alternate-reality dystopian America. HELLO

      • Richard of Norway

        Grayden is technically correct, and explains it very well. But a lot of geeks and general moviegoers are not so savvy on technical definitions of terms and thus consider many things “sci-fi” when they are really “fantasy” or another genre altogether.

      • Terry Boake

        IMDB lists “Prometheus” as “Sci-Fi.” Solved. Can’t we just leave this to the people who get paid to do this for a living, and stop running around, pointing fingers and screaming on the playground, little children?

      • Terry Boake

        * “Watchmen”, not “Prometheus” :P

  • Sam

    “Movie Ticket Reveals Ridley Scott’s PROMETHEUS Will Be Rated R”

    No, it reveals that the rating printed on the ticket is the letter R. It does not reveal that the movie will be rated R…the MPAA owns that rating, not the printer of the ticket.

    • Matt1

      You sound like a complete asshole.

  • Lance

    Heck ya. This had to be an R. You can’t market this as a creepy, scifi horror movie and then have it be PG-13. Glad corporate greed didn’t result in the mangling of this particular scifi picture – maybe they looked at what happened to John Carter and realized they needed to keep their hands off of this.

    • M.H.

      John Carter was never interfered with by the studio, so I’m not sure what you’re getting at. It was always aiming for a PG-13 rating from the get go. That’s the reason it couldn’t be produced by Pixar itself (because it is an all ages brand that is devoted to making movies that are exclusively G or PG rated). If you are perhaps referring to the marketing campaign for the movie, that once again wasn’t so much Disney interfering, as much as it was Disney not interfering. The problem with John Carter was that Disney let Andrew Stanton have too much of a say in the advertising of the film. Stanton said on the record before the film’s release that he didn’t want to reveal too much about the movie before audiences had a chance to see it. He wanted people to go see it with fresh eyes. Unfortunately that approach didn’t work. John Carter was a movie where the studio interference should have been welcomed, especially with regards to the advertising.

      As for Prometheus’ rating I don’t really get your logic that the movie has to be rated R to be marketed as a creepy sci-fi horror film, especially since the movie’s trailers which are unrated (but approved for all audiences), market it as a creepy, sci-fi horror film. The movie’s already been marketed as what it. It just hasn’t been officially rated by the MPAA. And since the rating isn’t official yet, it could just be the theater chain taking precedent (meaning the track record of the director, franchise, typical MPAA rating) into consideration on the advance tickets sales. Because let’s face it, to a theater chain on advance tickets, it’s better to be safer than sorry and mislabel a film as being R, than give out a ticket early that says PG-13, and then find out that the film’s been rated R.

      For me I could care less about the rating, it could be PG for all I care, all I want is a damn good movie, and I trust Ridley Scott will deliver that no matter what the rating.

      • Lance

        Disney did indeed interfere with the marketing of John Carter, as reported by credible mainstream press. It was marketing’s idea to shorten the name to just “John Carter,” and leave out “of Mars.” Why? Because including “Mars” in the title was thought to be girl repellant, and somehow Disney thought leaving the movie with a fairly generic name would make it a four quadrant smash. Oops.

        And what about those terrible trailers? I doubt Stanton cut those himself. He probably does have to take responsibility for the film we saw and were bored by, though — but I wouldn’t discount the possibility executives did hamstring him in various ways he can’t talk about because he wants to continue working in the future. While they’re perfectly happy to make him the scapegoat.

        The trailer for Prometheus works because 1)it’s very short and 2) it’s very impressionistic — it gives you hints about what you’re going to see in the movie, and it’s effective because it leaves a lot to your imagination.

        If the movie itself ends up in the PG-13 zone, though, then you _know_ you’re not going to see anything that will get too scary. It’s like bowling with those safety bumpers in the gutters. The thrill is gone!

      • M. H.

        Yeah, Disney shortened the title, but it was still something that Stanton had a say in, and was even okay with. As he wanted the full tittle, John Carter of Mars to be revealed at the end of the film, and no sooner.

        And as for the trailers Stanton did have a say and even approved the trailers. I doubt his hands were really as tied behind his back by studio politics as you say. I think with Stanton it’s more an issue of just how he is as a person. I mean you get a 250 million dollar budget and a powerhouse cast and crew, which are following you for about 3 to 4 years of production, would you really want to insult their work, by saying something like the movie is boring in the press? Especially after everybody worked so hard to make it? No.

        As for me I didn’t seem to find the film as boring as you did. And I ended sort of liking it, in some respects. Like I loved the way the Tharks and Dejah Thoris were handled. Those two elements I thought were great. Sure, in the end though, it wasn’t as great of a movie as it could have been, (it is a case were the book was certainly much, much better just in terms of pace and action, and keeping the character’ motivations clear). But it was far from being bad or boring, at least to me. The real problem with the film (and I’ve actually read the books) is that Stanton introduced too much, too soon, and didn’t really do a great job introducing new people to the property. The way the book handles how Carter gets to Mars and gets involved with the Wars going on there, not to mention the other characters was handled much better in the books. The story moved in a straight line in the book, instead of cutting back and forth between all the characters and their story lines, like in the movie. That way the reader experienced everything from Carter’s perspective. Which was really the way the movie should have gone.

        And as for Prometheus’s trailers, the last one they released was close to 3 minutes, wasn’t it? Hardly what I would call a short trailer. But yes I would agree with the statement that it shows just enough, and nothing more. The problem that I’m having with your statement (and I would like you to explain to me, if you would be so kind) is that you seem to imply that horror is about what’s not seen and that’s what makes something so scary, but only when it’s a movie trailer. But you seem to be insistent on the idea that for the actual movie itself that it has show everything. Which is fine, I suppose. But I don’t really require that a film has to show me everything for it to be creepy or scary. A lot of older horror and science fiction films are very creepy, just through the use of atmosphere, and today they would be rated something along the lines of PG or PG-13. Now I’m not arguing that just because those old movies still work, that Prometheus should be like them, all atmosphere and no showing, as I think the movie should be the way that Ridley Scott wants it to be. And apparently he did want it be R rated after all if you’ve seen the update to the story we both commented on. What I’m arguing is that you can get away with essentially showing nothing, but still scaring the pants off the audience just by means of implication and good storytelling. I get that Prometheus is probably bound not to have that means of storytelling (and that’s more than okay with me, as I do want to actually see the Aliens in this film), but I would just like to point out there are cases where you can get away with a scary movie that doesn’t show very much.

      • Lance

        I didn’t think John Carter was irredeemable, but it was certainly a bit of a mess and needed to be streamlined, as you pretty much said. There were also aspects to the movie that I thought would have worked great in a PIXAR film, but didn’t come across as well with live action characters.

        I’d say the lesson would be not to let animators get their first taste of live action with an enormous, big budget movie, but Brad Bird did a phenomenal job with Ghost Protocol, so I don’t know what the real lesson is to be learned here.

        As for horror and leaving things to the imagination, you have a point. And in fact the original Alien leaves a lot to the imagination. You don’t ever see the alien actually chowing down on people (like in Alien3, which I think was a mistake). At the same time, you have to have _some_ gore. That chestburster scene at the dinner table put everyone in the audience on edge as to what _could_ happen in that movie. Without that scene, the film is much tamer.

        If Prometheus is going to live up to the standards of the best Alien movies, it can’t shy away from its heritage (even though it’s a prequel).

  • mike

    district 9 was rated r

    • SP1234

      With the exception of Peter Jackson, District 9 was more of an independent production than a big studio film. I don’t think anyone expected it to be huge.

  • Rev. Slappy

    According to the MPAA website they haven’t yet rated Prometheus.

  • jimmer

    you can’t compare this to the matrix reloaded. that was a sequel to a huge hit. prometheus will not touch reloaded’s weekend take.

    • Liam_H

      He’s not he just trying to remember the last movie that was a blockbuster, Matrix Reloaded certainly was that.

    • Lizard King

      …And Prometheus is a prequel to a highly successful, decades-spanning franchise. Therefore, your point is moot, and it has just as likely of a chance to hit a big box office total.

      • Infamous

        Was Matrix Reloaded really R? That movie wasnt that good and I dont think making it R helped it. Prometheus NEEDS to be R for it to have any real chance of being a real prequel to ALIEN.
        I have confidence this movie will be done right.

      • Sean

        The Matrix wasn’t just a “big” number, it was a record shattering total for an R-rated film. And back when Reloaded came out, people were comparing The Matrix to Star Wars and it’s cultural impact. …and then the two sequels came out and tarnished the franchises name.

        Alien maybe a decade spanning franchise, but it’s been 20 years since the franchise was hot. There have been 4 bad sequels since their was a good sequel. There’s no returning cast, and the filmmakers won’t commit to calling it a prequel.

        I have no idea if Prometheus will be a big hit or just a marginal one, but it’s a much bigger gamble than a sequel to the Matrix back in 2003.

      • Peeduh

        Sounds like jimmer doesn’t realize that it’s a part of the Alien franchise.

    • 72 inches!


      Prometheus is going to do better than you seem to think. There’s quite a lot of buzz about it. I remember well the packed theaters for Alien all those years ago. Fully expecting the same and more for this one.

      • FeloniousMax

        Aliens was the first R rated film I saw in a theater, I was 10 at the time, theater was packed opening weekend, saw it with my ma and step dad and my two siblings…we’re all gonna see Prometheus in Imax 3-D opening night, can not wait!

        It won’t do Avengers numbers but you can bet your ass it’ll be the highest grossing movie it’s opening weekend and probably the following one as well, and likely the highest grossing R rated film for the year.

      • FeloniousMax

        ALIEN not Aliens, not sure ho that s got there.

      • SP1234

        Oh, I don’t think anything will top Avenger numbers for a long time, maybe even Dark Knight Rises, although I think it will have a higher gross.

  • Kurt Z

    As Sam said, the rating doesn’t mean anything. When the feature is put into the computer so they can sell tickets a Rating needs to put in. However, no Rating has been giving my the MPAA yet. Looks like someone decided to print up a ticket with the R rating on it. Or a little fun with Photoshop getting rid of the N before the R. If you were to go over the AMC website for the Concord 24 in Concord, North Carolina you will see that they have the movie listed as NR (Not Rated) This will change once the rating is released which will not be most likely until mid May to late May.

  • dogg

    Don’t the trailers highly suggest a women has to cut something out of her face? Gonna be hard to pull that off @ PG-13.

  • John

    This means nothing. I used to work at an AMC and we could change the rating in the system at any time. The system is updated automatically but we can edit titles, ratings, symbols (for special engagements or closed captioning), etc. When a movie is added to the system if it’s not rated yet it’ll be put in as NR. The AMC near me (and the one I worked at) has had Prometheus on sale for the past couple of weeks. A manager at the theater were this pic is from could of edited the rating in the system and was probably guessing on what it would be rated. This news article is a waste.

  • Strong Enough

    Guillermo del Toro Thinks PROMETHEUS Could Spell Demise Of AT THE MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS

    Same premise. Scenes that would be almost identical. Both movies seem to share identical set pieces and the exact same BIG REVELATION (twist) at the end. I won’t spoil it.

    I have been interviewed about this lately and wanted to post my two cents about this:

    Prometheus started filming a while ago- right at the time we were in pre-production on PACIFIC RIM. The title itself gave me pause- knowing that ALIEN was heavily influenced by Lovecraft and his novella.

    This time, decades later with the budget and place Ridley Scott occupied, I assumed the greek metaphor alluded at the creation aspects of the HPL book. I believe I am right and if so, as a fan, I am delighted to see a new RS science fiction film, but this will probably mark a long pause -if not the demise- of ATMOM.

    The sad part is- I have been pursuing ATMOM for over a decade now- and, well, after Hellboy II two projects I dearly loved were not brought to fruition for me.

    The good part is: One project did… And I am loving it and grateful for the blessings I have received.

    ^^So Ridley gets to have a R Rated sci fi movie and he hasn’t made a good movie in years and ATMOM with Tom cruise and JAMES CAMERON doesn’t get made?

    this can’t be life….

    • PierreVW

      Sir Ridley Scott is a most famous and successful filmmaker than Guillermo Del Toro. Actually, Sir Ridley Scott is a greater filmmaker than Guillermo Del Toro and OVERRATED James Cameron

  • Nomis1700

    I came.

  • cap

    Does the rating really mean that much? It’s not like you can’t make a dark, serious and compelling movie with PG-13. Dark Knight was PG-13. I think some people think that a film is either hard R balls to the wall type of thing or Lion King. There are things in between you know?

    • M.H.

      I laughed at your Lion King example, as there are some pretty ballsy things in that movie, even with it’s G rating. For example the death of Simba’s father is played really intensely and can be quite scary for kids. And even some adults. I mean at the heart of that scene is a kid losing their parent, that’s just a scary proposition for anybody. And Scar’s song Be Prepared has a sort of Nazi propaganda vibe going for it to show the nature of Scar’s evil. All in all The Lion King proves that a film with dark elements is more than capable of getting the G rating.

  • Raikom

    Hehehe… i just watch “Alien” last night and i’m 1000% sure that the spice ship and the dead alien that they found there is absolutely the same like in this movie!!! Еven the details of the space ship are the same!

    • WEV

      are you for real?

  • bflem

    That guy said, “lion king”… aaaaaaaahahahahahaha!

  • Dre Dre

    Is it just me, or does the guy on the left look exactly like Tom Hardy.

    • Peeduh

      It boggled my mind that it was NOT Tom Hardy. Two unrelated people should not look exactly the same. The more likely explanation is that it is Tom Hardy using the name Logan Marshall-Green.

  • Andy

    Both Terminator 3 and Bad Boys 3 was released with an R rating in 2003.

    Wasn’t Troy kinda a summer blockbuster type film?

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  • jarvis3205

    Awesome news…but as I stated earlier elsewhere…this thing coulda been rated G & I’d still have leapfrogged The Avengers & TDKR to get into the multiplex!!!

    Can’t wait.

    Also…has anyone noticed at the end of the trailer when Shaw is strapped to the domed med-lab table that something appearing to be a flesh colored Xenomorph looking fetus thingy is being removed from her body via a clamp?

    Just saying is all.

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  • jetblac

    Fuck Yeah!

    • CocaineHeart

      fuck yeah is right! this makes me automatically feel like the movie is going to be better

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  • your dark knight ends

    screw the dark knight rises i can’t wait for this to come out!

  • David James

    Anyone else think that R looks really photoshopped?

  • Markeetundra

    Technically, Matrix Revolution was last R rated blockbuster but if you want to count it as the second half of matrix reloaded, then Terminator 3 was the last R rated blockbuster (Yes it was rated R, you can check).

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  • Jamie Helton

    What a lame article. As others have pointed out, a movie ticket does not prove anything. The MPAA announces when it makes decisions on movies. Why would they keep “Prometheus” a secret? You can actually look up individual movies on their website ( to see what the ratings for them are, but “Prometheus” is not found, hence it has not yet been rated. It doesn’t take a lot of journalistic legwork to do that simple fact checking.

    • That Film Nerd

      It’s Rated R, it’s been confirmed by 20th Century Fox, unless you think they are lying. No need to to get upset.

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  • Blob Malarkey

    Is the the extent of internet journalism? Trawling blogs and movie forums for ‘scoops’, publishing something that might possibly be erroneous as a fact and let the comments debunk or at least put it into question?

    #1 Do you get paid for this?
    #2 If so, can I have your job?

  • PerN

    Thank you Fox for _daring_ to make an R rated sci-fi movie! Exactly what we need!

  • Jazzy Jace

    “I’m not sure if that automatically makes the movie better” – Matt, are you from Uranus (wait, don’t answer that).

    I echo everyone’s feelings when I say yes, an R-rating DOES make a difference. Or fear a fan backlash and no great ticket sales.

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  • Steve


  • El

    Yeah, looks pretty good for a summer movie. I think ill see it.

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  • Peter Haskett


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  • Jon

    The manager of the theater can set a rating for the movie. The fact that the ticket says it is rated “R” does not mean the movie has been officially rated. The manager probably just assumed that it was going to be rated that so he marked it as “R”.

    I work at an AMC theater and asked my manager this today.

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  • IonOtter


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  • Sam

    The amazing number of comments on this article proves the buzz around Prometheus…really really hope that it does well.

  • jack

    Sorry to go off topic but the whole John Carter thing is bugging me… Despite what people think the name was actually changed to leave out the Mars part simply because… It implied that John Carter was a martian and not an earthling; as this film is the “origin” story, to what will more than likely become a franchise, it would be more accurate to call him John Cater of earth… Until the end of the movie where he becomes the John Carter of mars we recognise from the novella!!! in confirmation of that idea the words John Carter of mars even appear
    on screen at the end of the film!!! It was abundantly clear from the trailers that John Carter was on Mars and that it was a scifi flick!!! This would surely have been as much of a deterrent if not more to those who disliked the scifi genre or mars for that matter as would simply writing Mars on screen!! Now as for Prometheus I’m glad it’s R-rated rather than pg-13 but either way it is possible to make a good movie… I doubt the idea that decision won’t effect the movie as Ridley (Scott) has already said there are two cuts of the movie, but i guess what they meant was that that quality and enjoyability of the movie would not be compromised by the that fact it may be released as a pg-13 even though some scenes would be a little less graphic!!

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  • David

    There was a time when I would have really hoped for an R rating. But it really doesn’t make a difference to me now, even though I’m a huge Alien fan. One of the reasons I’m so over-the-top excited about this movie (as opposed to being just midly interested in yet another boring sequel) is that the film hints at much more than just sci-fi horror. I kind of felt from the trailer, and from what I’ve read, that it will touch much more on the origins of men, gods, the origins of life, etc. It kind of feels like The Tree of Life with aliens. For the film that I’m envisioning and hoping for an R rating really isn’t required. Here’s to hoping that this movie actually somehow meets my ridiculously high expectations that have been building for about a year. The last film to do that was Inglorious Basterds. Not likely.

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