Earlier in January, Kelly Marcel, the screenwriter responsible for bringing "Fifty Shades Of Grey" to the big screen, told reporters that her script is "100 percent going there."
“Well, there is going to be a lot of sex in the film,” Marcel told the UK paper The Sunday Times. “It will be rated NC-17.”
Whether or not that comes to pass, of course, is another matter entirely; the NC-17 rating is famously prohibitive to box office receipts, and it seems unlikely that Universal Pictures and Focus Features would allow such a lucrative property to limit its potential audience.
Or maybe "Fifty Shades of Grey" will receive an NC-17 ... at first. Ahead, 11 classic films that were rated NC-17 before cuts, trims and appeals led to R ratings.
The Sacha Baron Cohen comedy was initially given an NC-17 rating because of "numerous sexual scenes that the ratings board considers over the line," <a href="http://www.thewrap.com/movies/article/2127?page=1">noted TheWrap.com</a>. One of the scenes in question portrayed Cohen having anal sex with another man. The movie was rebranded with an R-rating, however, <a href="http://www.slashfilm.com/bruno-gets-rated-r/">either because of cuts made to the NC-17 version or an appeal from the filmmakers themselves to the MPAA</a>.
"A Clockwork Orange" (1971)
"A Clockwork Orange" was initially rated "X" (a certification that wouldn't allow anyone under 21 to see the film) because of its portrayal of sex and "ultra-violence." After a year of release, director Stanley Kubrick made some edits to the film to help with the profits, <a href="http://www.webcitation.org/5kjLwkaI8">and the new cut received an R-rating</a>.
"Eyes Wide Shut" (1999)
Kubrick's final film -- which starred then-real-life couple Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman -- was given an NC-17 rating because of a scene depicting an orgy. "How is it possible that a serious movie about human sexuality, made by one of the world's master filmmakers, cannot be seen by American adults in its intended form, when those same adults can watch comparable fare any night on cable television?" <a href="http://partners.nytimes.com/library/film/072899eyes-movie.html">wrote the New York Film Critics Circle in a letter to the MPAA</a>. In the end, "Eyes Wide Shut" was altered to include "shrouded digital figures" placed in front of couples engaged in sex at the orgy.
"Natural Born Killers" (1994)
Oliver Stone's violent and sadistic satire on the blood-lust of the media is still one of the most controversial movies ever release by a major studio (Warner Bros.). <a href="http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,293587,00.html">As EW noted</a>, Stone "made 150 cuts to secure an R rating."
"Basic Instinct" (1992)
As EW revealed, <a href="http://www.ew.com/ew/gallery/0,,20483133_20550449_21088163,00.html">"Basic Instinct" was initially rated NC-17 because of its violence and a scene of oral sex</a>. Director Paul Verhoeven toned the scenes down to secure an R.
"Monster's Ball" (2001)
This drama, which won Halle Berry her Academy Award, was first rated <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0285742/alternateversions">NC-17 because of an explicit sex scene between Berry and Billy Bob Thornton</a>.
"Summer of Sam" (1999)
Spike Lee's "Summer of Sam" was an incredibly violent look at the summer of 1977, but it was the film's sex scenes that resulted in an NC-17. <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0162677/trivia">A couple of minutes were cut out of an orgy sequence to secure an R</a>.
"True Romance" (1993)
As The Atlantic noted, <a href="http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2011/12/10-films-that-avoided-the-nc-17-rating-and-suffered-for-it/249408/#slide8">"True Romance" featured both explicit violence and sex</a> in its original cut. Both were cut down in the final version, though the film is still hyper-violent.
"South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut" (1999)
Irony: The "South Park" movie is about Stan, Kyle, Kenny and Cartman sneaking into an R-rated movie, which "warps their minds." The MPAA felt "South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut" would do the same thing to America's unsuspecting youths. The film went through multiple appeals until an R-rated was awarded. The full story, definitely worth a read, <a href="http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,272257,00.html">is here</a>.
"The Wild Bunch"
Sam Peckinpah's violent Western "The Wild Bunch" was initially rated-R, <a href="http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,304153,00.html">until the MPAA changed its mind 25 years later</a>. "I never thought there would be a film with an R in 1969 but rerated NC-17 25 years later," Martin Scorsese said. "'The Wild Bunch' is not for everyone, but you can't deny it's a great work of art."
"Blue Valentine" (2010)
"Blue Valentine," an indie drama about a crumbling marriage, received an NC-17 rating because of a scene where Ryan Gosling's character performs oral sex on Michelle Williams' character. After an appear from Harvey Weinstein, <a href="http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1653859/blue-valentine-nc-17-rating-overturned.jhtml">the ruling was overturned with no cuts to the film</a>.