Sony Pictures Home Entertainment launched a new initiative today called Clean Version, which allows fans to watch versions of movies that have been edited and adapted for a wider family audience. The studio launched their first wave of 24 titles released under this initiative, many of which are not even R-rated, with PG-13 movies such as the original Spider-Man trilogy, the two Amazing Spider-Man movies and much more. These titles will be made available to purchase starting today on Digital HD through iTunes, Vudu and FandangoNow, with the Clean Version found in the Extras section of each movie, so fans will get both the original version and the Clean Version. Seth Rogen, who has a long standing relationship with the studio, thinks this is a horrible idea.
Sony Pictures launched this initiative through the website CleanVersionMovies.com, which includes the full list of titles and a trailer that you can see below, which offers a better explanation of this initiative. These Clean Movies are more than just cutting out adult language. According to the site's FAQ section, they use the broadcast or airline versions of these movies to remove "graphic violence, offensive language, sexual innuendo, and other adult content." What's interesting is that, of the 24 Clean Version titles that are available starting today, only two are R-rated movies, Elysium and Step Brothers. The trailer below shows exactly what kind of material is "cleaned" up for more sensitive audiences.
The full list of Clean Version movies available today is 50 First Dates, The Amazing Spider-Man, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Battle Of The Year, Big Daddy, Captain Phillips, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, Easy A, Elysium, Ghostbusters, Ghostbusters II, Goosebumps, Grown Ups, Grown Ups 2, Hancock, Inferno, Moneyball, Pixels, Spider-Man, Spider-Man 2, Spider-Man 3, The Amazing Spider-Man, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Step Brothers, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby and White House Down. These movies represent a wide variety of genres, with the trailer below showcasing before and after versions of scenes from some of these movies. For instance, there is a scene from Grown Ups where Kevin James' character has a disparaging remark that includes some profanity, which was changed to "little punks."
The trailer also features a scene from The Amazing Spider-Man, where Andrew Garfield is shot with an electrically charged bolt that sends shockwaves throughout his body. The clean version only shows the shooter in the helicopter take aim, and Spidey tumble to the Earth below, removing the "violence" from the shot. The trailer also features a scene from Talladega Nights, where a specific sexual reference was completely removed and replaced with "I'm really excited right now." It isn't clear how often the studio plans on releasing new "Clean Version" movies. Shortly after the news was announced, Seth Rogen, whose R-rated comedy Sausage Party and many of his other movies were released by Sony, sent out a simple plea on Twitter, asking the studio, "Holy s--t please don't do this to our movies. Thanks." When asked about this initiative by a fan, the actor/filmmaker had this to say.
"I don't dig any watered down version being out there, but those are done so ramshackle they would never pass for the actual product. I'd be worried these would be put together so well that in several years you wouldn't know these weren't the original films."
When asked if they would have to get his consent to alter his movies, the actor responded that they would, but he doesn't think they would change his movies because if they took out all of the offensive elements, "there wouldn't be much screen time left." There are currently a few third-party companies that provide similar services, such as ClearPlay and VidAngel, which both worked under the Family Movie Act of 2015 that allowed these companies to sanitize movies for all ages. ClearPlay has suffered from a technical glitch that stopped providing users with clean versions of blockbuster movies for months. VidAngel has been embroiled in a legal battle with Disney, LucasFilm, 20th Century Fox and Warner Bros.' who all claim that the service is in violation of the Family Movie Act of 2015. Take a look at the new video for Sony's Clean Version movies below, along with Seth Rogen's recent tweets.