Wes Anderson's Next Movie Loses R-Rating After Appeal

By Sam Hargrave Posted:
Scarlett Johansson in Wes Anderson's Asteriod City

Wes Anderson's Asteroid City lost its R-rating after an appeal from the filmmaker.

The Grand Budapest Hotel director Wes Anderson makes his return to theaters this summer with the star-studded romantic drama Asteroid City. The synopsis describes how the flick will see "the itinerary of a Junior Stargazer convention spectacularly disrupted by world-changing events.

Among the ensemble cast are Tom Hanks, Scarlett Johansson, Bryan Cranston, Tilda Swinton, Edward Norton, and many more of Hollywood's biggest stars.

In February, Asteroid City was announced to have been rated R by the MPAA for "brief graphic nudity." However, Anderson immediately confirmed his attention to appeal the decision to the MPAA's Appeals Board.

Wes Anderson's Asteroid City Abandons R-Rating

Tom Hanks In Asteroid City

As shared by Next Best Picture's Will Mavity, Wes Anderson's next movie, Asteroid City, managed to ditch its previously approved R-rating after the filmmaker lodged an appeal in February.

Following a two-month review process, the upcoming film has now been dropped down to PG-13 with the updated descriptors promising "brief graphic nudity, smoking, and some suggestive material."

The term "graphic nudity" is rarely thrown around in Hollywood, seemingly the only PG-13 movie with that tag before was 2006's Golden Door. According to the IMDB Parent's Guide for the movie, the nudity was non-sexual and came as part of an immigration process, with several males having their genitals visible very briefly and some pubic hair sticking out.

Another case of "graphic nudity" came in Bill Murray's R-rated romantic drama Broken Flowers - which the term was actually coined for - and, according to Reel Rejects, it saw a woman very briefly enter a room fully naked, smile at Murray's character, and leave the room, with almost her entire naked body visible.

Asteroid City's nudity will most likely be brief, depicted in a non-sexual situation, and probably be full-frontal, based on past uses of the term.

Why Wes Anderson Wanted PG-13 for Asteroid City 

Early in his career, Wes Anderson was almost exclusively an R-rated filmmaker, but after a one-off dip into children's filmmaking with Fantastic Mr. Fox, the director has gone back and forth between PG-13 and R-rated movies. The full list of Anderson's movie ratings can be seen below:

  1. Bottle Rocket (1996) - R
  2. Rushmore (1998) - R
  3. The Royal Tenenbaums (2001) - R
  4. The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004) - R
  5. The Darjeeling Limited (2007) - R
  6. Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009) - PG
  7. Moonrise Kingdom (2012) - PG-13
  8. The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014) - R
  9. Isle of Dogs (2018) - PG-13
  10. The French Dispatch (2021) - R
  11. Asteroid City (2023) - PG-13

Clearly, Anderson developed Asteroid City with a PG-13 rating in mind, believing the film can have some appeal to the teenage demographic. Having succeeded in winning his PG-13 rating, the comedy-drama will have far more potential for even more box office success, which is only heightened by its huge cast.

Asteroid City hits theaters on June 16 - coming to theaters on the same day as DC's The Flash.

- About The Author: Sam Hargrave
Sam Hargrave is the Associate Editor at The Direct. He joined the team as a gaming writer in 2020 before later expanding into writing for all areas of The Direct and taking on further responsibilities such as editorial tasks and image creation.