M3GAN Could Have Been Gorier, Screenwriter Akela Cooper Talks About An Unrated Version

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M3gan Poster; Credits: YouTube
M3gan Poster; Credits: YouTube

Thanks to a flood of favorable hype and favorable reviews building up to its opening weekend, M3GAN has now formally changed from viral hit to box office hit. The killer doll adventure can now look forward to a potential sequel as well as a more savage version of the film viewers already has fallen in love with after earning a box office tally that made it the second-highest earner after the titan that is Avatar: The Way of Water.

M3GAN screenwriter Akela Cooper hinted that an unrated version of the movie is probably on the horizon, perfect for M3GAN fans who would like to see their new favorite horror icon get just a little bit freakier, in an interview with The Los Angeles Times regarding her dance, murdering creation.

Cooper remarked no offense to Universal, she loves them, and she gets that once the trailer went viral, teens got interested and some want them to be able to watch it. At one or the other point, there has to be an unrated rendition. She was told that it was recorded. Yes, it was far grimmer.

It’s not shocking that Cooper is cognizant of the wish for those significantly bloodier scenes shortly. The desire to recut and reshoot M3GAN to make it a scary film with a broader audience has long been known for some time now and filmmaker Gerard Johnstone has even claimed that reshaping the film around with a PG-13 rank did make the horror moments more efficient.

It’s also not shocking to learn that James Wan, who co-authored and produced M3GAN with Cooper, asked her to scale back on M3GAN’s kill count after Cooper, who also penned Malignant for him, made the movie’s script even more savage.

M3GAN in M3GAN directed by Gerard Johnstone.
M3GAN in M3GAN directed by Gerard Johnstone.

In the script, she had more deaths than in the final product. Although it wasn’t on the same magnitude as Gabriel’s massacre, she did kill several other characters, including a few to whom James said, “I like that’s what you did with all those individuals, but I desire them to live.” She was cruel, but then again, that is how she is. Her wit and sense of humor are relatively dark.

Akela Cooper’s Voice in Horror Films

Speaking of Malignant, its success, along with that of M3GAN, has established Cooper as one of the most interesting voices in horror film right now and served to herald a shift in the genre’s tone toward funnier, more self-aware productions. Cooper is glad to be riding that wave, though she wishes it had started a little bit earlier.

Because everyone has been performing “elevated horror” for so long, it is exhilarating, Cooper added. Even when she went out and made a pitch, she would hear, “We like it, but it’s too gory.” It isn’t raised. One of her specifications was seen by an executive who loved it and commented, “It’s gory and no one’s doing graphic violence right now. The market won’t change unless a horror film with gore is released and becomes popular.

(from left) James Wan, Jason Blum, Akela Cooper, Allison Williams, and Gerard Johnstone attend the Los Angeles Premiere Of Universal Pictures’ “M3GAN”

Cooper sat there nodding in agreement. We can spearhead that effort. There is gore, but it’s not a problem, I’m hearing now. She was pleased that she could contribute to the return of lighthearted horror that doesn’t take itself too seriously.

M3GAN’s Review

The photorealistic doll M3GAN, an artificially intelligent marvel, is made to be a children’s and family’s best friend. In addition to acting as a companion, mentor, companion, and guardian for the child she is attached to, M3GAN was created by clever toy company roboticist Gemma.

Gemma is confused and not prepared to be a mother when she unexpectedly takes in her 8-year-old orphaned niece, Cady. Gemma makes the unthinkable choice to link her M3GAN model with Cady to fix both issues while under extreme pressure at work.

The newest entry in the doll horror subgenre is M3GAN. This one did not excite the audience. Instead of becoming intrigued after viewing the many trailers that have been published, they simply felt numb or angry. These trailers did not resonate with me as a fan of the director, doll horror films in general, or the actors.

Because of this, it was extremely enjoyable to view the film and discover that it lacked the atmosphere suggested by the trailers. Some of the trailer’s content will still be in the finished film. The crazy and frantic mood is, however, far less intense. Yes, it’s camp, but it’s not “simply” a crazy doll roaming about while idiots do stupid things.

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By Arushi Chadha

Hi, I am an under-grad student excited to be working here!

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