It’s rare that any superhero movie would garner more than a PG-13 rating — but Joss Whedon’s The Avengers was a different story. Marvel head Kevin Feige recently revealed that the 2012 blockbuster came pretty close to having an R rating, though maybe not for the reason you’d expect.
“When we submitted The Avengers, the first couple cuts of it came back from the MPAA rated R. That happened twice. So we went back and had to make adjustments,” he explained.
The scene in question? Possibly not what you’d expect from a movie that has a Hulk smashing everything in existence, aliens blasting people off their feet, and a lot of intense fighting. Instead, Feige singled out Agent Coulson’s prominent death sequence, when he’s stabbed by Loki’s magical scepter. Apparently, the first cut of the scene was too gruesome, so Marvel had to keep cutting until they reached an acceptable final version, as seen below:
Since Marvel likes to keep things under wraps, it’s pretty safe to say we probably won’t actually get to see the scene that garnered the movie’s R rating at any point. But who knows? There’s always the option of extra-extras on the next big DVD collection for Phase 2…
As for the upcoming Captain America: The Winter Soldier, set to hit theatres on April 4? Don’t worry. Despite the explosions and possible carnage, according to Feige, the movie had no problem acquiring the standard PG-13 rating.