The King’s Speech has been nominated for 12 Academy Awards, including Best Editing, and made more than $60 million at the box office, more than any other ‘specialty’ release in 2010 except for Black Swan. Apparently that’s a problem, because Harvey Weinstein wants to fix it. In an effort to maximize the film’s profits and crossover appeal The Weinstein Company is switching up the film’s ad campaign to focus on the story of friendship between King George VI (Colin Firth) and his speech therapist Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush)as opposed to relying on quotes from film critics. Okay, that sounds reasonable. Also, they want to recut the film. Say, whaaaaaat?!
Yes, it seems that in order to cater to the general moviegoing audience The Weinstein Company plans to release a new cut of the film, one without the swearing that gave The King’s Speech an R-rating in the first place. The new cut could earn a PG-13 or even a PG, encouraging parents to take their kids, who will no doubt be thrilled by a drama about a member of the British royal family who stutters. Okay, that’s not fair: The King’s Speech is an exceptional film that can be enjoyed by all audiences even with the swearing, which served an important function to the film’s plot. By encouraging the future British monarch to speak with impropriety, Lionel Logue succeeds in making him speak confidently instead of censoring himself. It might not seem like much but it’s actually an important plot point.
The Los Angeles Times broke the story, but was unable to reach The King’s Speech director Tom Hooper for comment. If it goes forward, the re-edit of the film wouldn’t even be ready for release until after the Oscar ceremony on February 27.