The internet was set ablaze yesterday following the revelation that an NC-17 cut of Mrs. Doubtfire potentially exists somewhere out there in the ether. The beloved family film is one of the late, great Robin Williams’ most popular movies, and was a monster success when it was first released after earning $441 million at the box office to go down as the second-biggest hit of 1993, while it also scooped a Golden Globe for Best Picture – Musical or Comedy, with the leading man winning the Best Actor prize in the same category.
Naturally, there’s been no sort of tangible evidence provided that there’s a raunchy, foul-mouthed cut of Mrs. Doubtfire sitting in a vault ready to be unleashed upon an unsuspecting world, but the timing is more than a little coincidental given that Zack Snyder’s Justice League has only just been released on HBO Max.
There’s also precedent for this sort of thing, with the creative team behind Aladdin admitting in the past that they ended up with plenty of explicit Genie material they couldn’t use after Williams cut loose and started riffing in the recording booth. Unfortunately, director Chris Columbus has now confirmed that the NC-17 rumors have been taken wildly out of context, but admitted that there is a version of Mrs. Doubtfire that repositions it as an uproarious R-rated comedy.
“The reality is that there was a deal between Robin and myself, which was, he’ll do one or two, three scripted takes. And then he would say, ‘Then let me play’. And we would basically go on anywhere between fifteen to 22 takes, I think 22 being the most I remember. 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 used the phrase NC-17 as a joke. There could be no NC-17 version of the movie.
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. 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. 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.”
As of yet, #ReleaseTheRobinWilliamsCut hasn’t started trending, but it’s surely only a matter of time. Columbus’ idea of a documentary going behind the scenes sounds like a suitable compromise, though, one that would allow fans to witness Williams at his improvisational best without having to turn Mrs. Doubtfire into an exercise in vulgarity.