Mrs. Doubtfire: Dir. Chris Columbus Says R-Rated Possible, Not NC-17

There's no question Robin Williams provided tons of comedic gold beyond what he gave audiences behind the scenes with his legendary improvisational skills. One such case was confirmed in 20th Studio's Mrs. Doubtfire (1993). Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, director Chris Columbus admits the actor provided enough material to produce an R-rated cut of the film, not necessarily an NC-17 one that was referenced in a previous interview with Yahoo. The story follows a divorced actor (Williams) who struggles to find work. He concocts a scheme to trick his ex-wife (Sally Field) into hiring the nanny character he plays in disguise he creates on the fly to spend more time with their three children beyond the court-allocated time as himself.


Mrs. Doubtfire: Dir. Chris Columbus Says R-Rated Cut Exists, No NC-17
Image courtesy of 20th Studios.

Columbus admitted there are three versions of Mrs. Doubtfire with PG, PG-13, and R-rated cuts. "The reality is that there was a deal between Robin and myself, which was, he'll do one or two, three scripted takes," he recalled. "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." When referencing the previous interview, "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. I only [previously] used the phrase NC-17 as a joke. There could be no NC-17 version of the movie."

As far as re-releasing the R-rated cut, "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," Columbus said. "The problem is, I don't recall most of it. I only know what's in the movie at this point because it's been a long time. But I do remember it was outrageously funny material." The director would want to include interviews with himself, editor Raja Gosnell, and producer Masha Garces Williams. "I think that that would be the best approach. I'm very proud of the film… I'm in a good place with Mrs. Doubtfire, so there's really no reason to do the definitive cut. The definitive cut of Mrs. Doubtfire is out in the world right now."

Robin's daughter Zelda Williams chimed in tweeting, "He also said the 'definitive version' is the one that's out there, so maybe now yall can stop 'demanding' I help get this released? 😂 But if wanna watch Dad swear (and sweat profusely), go watch his standup! He does plenty of weird R shit with water bottles and arm hair." His co-star Mara Wilson, who played the younger daughter Natalie, agreed with Columbus, "He didn't say any of the blue stuff around me, but I know he said it. I wouldn't be surprised if there was material for an R rating. NC-17? No way." Lisa Jakub, who played older daughter Lydia, wrote, "I'd watch that."

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About Tom Chang

I'm a follower of pop culture from gaming, comics, sci-fi, fantasy, film, and TV for over 30 years. I grew up reading magazines like Starlog, Mad, and Fangoria. As a writer for over 10 years, Star Wars was the first sci-fi franchise I fell in love with. I'm a nerd-of-all-trades.
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