On Friday Flavorwire had the chance to sit down with Boyle and ask him to respond to the controversy.
After giving us some advice about launching this site (“Treat it just like I do a new film project; it’s going to be really hard at first, but you’re going to learn a ton as you go.”), he was finally ready to talk Slumdog.
Read what he had to say after the jump.
Flavorwire: There’s been a lot of controversy about the R-rating. Do you care?
Danny Boyle: Oh yeah, I do care. I care because the way the film was set up originally, the contract said you have to deliver a PG-13 movie. That’s when you can argue about it and say, “No, I want to make an R-movie,” in which case they’ll probably give you slightly less money. So I agreed to do it.
The film is deliberately shot for the PG-13 rating. I was very disappointed that when they watched the film they didn’t appreciate that at all. There’s very little that you see in the film. It’s all suggested. The spirit of the film is incredibly warm and generous, and it celebrates humanity — not withstanding some of the horrible things that can happen.
They just kept saying, “It’s too intense.” That meant there was nothing I could do.
It’s not like there’s a list of things to cut or a scene I could have taken out. The journey is just too intense. But that’s part of my job — to make the journey intense. In a good way, sometimes, and in a bad way at others. That’s the point of a director isn’t it? To make things feel real, so you can believe it.
I was disappointed, but to give credit to PETER RICE at FOX SEARCHLIGHT who took over the contract, and could have said to me, “No, this has got to be a PG-13,” and been within his legal rights…he said, “Listen, just put this film out like you want it to be. Because that’s the most important thing in the end. And we’ll deal with the consequences of the rating later.”
Flavorwire: What do you make of all the bloggers championing your cause?
Danny Boyle: It’s cool. Blogging is so cool, isn’t it? Because previously, with magazines you’d have to wait for the new issue at least a week. And now it’s like people can run a campaign instantly. They can start saying what they want and start a conversation about something instantly.
Stay tuned for more from Boyle — including his favorite scary movie and his advice for STAR TREK director JJ ABRAMS — as we get closer to Slumdog‘s release on November 12.