Mrs. Doubtfire director Chris Columbus has confirmed that an R-rated version of the 1993 comedy exists.
A viral tweet from Film Facts had suggested that, due to Robin Williams’ frequent improvisations during filming, there were unused “PG, PG-13, R, and NC-17 cuts of the film.”
Speaking to Entertainment Weekly on Friday (March 19), Columbus quelled speculation about an NC-17-rated (no children under 17 permitted) version of the film, but revealed that there are three different versions of it, including an R-rated (Under-17s require accompanying parent or adult guardian) cut.
While filming 'Mrs. Doubtfire' (1993), Robin Williams improvised so much that there were PG, PG-13, R, and NC-17 cuts of the film pic.twitter.com/vjYUCmyrj2
— Film Facts 🎬 (@factsonfiIm) March 18, 2021
“The reality is that there was a deal between Robin and myself, which was, he’ll do one or two, three scripted takes,” the director explained. “And then he would say, ‘Then let me play.’ And we would basically go on anywhere between 15 to 22 takes, I think 22 being the most I remember.”
Some of the improvised lines varied in age suitability, meaning lots were left out of the film, which ultimately released in the US as a PG-13.
“He would sometimes go into territory that wouldn’t be appropriate for a PG-13 movie, but certainly appropriate and hilariously funny for an R-rated film,” Columbus continued. “I only [previously] used the phrase NC-17 as a joke. There could be no NC-17 version of the movie.”
While the director indicated that a full R-rated edition of Mrs. Doubtfire was unlikely to see the light of day, he hinted at another possible use for the leftover scenes.
“I would be open to maybe doing a documentary about the making of the film, and enabling people to see certain scenes re-edited in an R-rated version,” he said, adding that the project could include interviews with him, editor Raja Gosnell and producer Marsha Garces Williams. “I think that would be the best approach. I’m very proud of this film.”
In 2017, Kevin Hart denied reports that he was considering a Mrs. Doubtfire remake, denouncing the story as “false news”.