‘Expendables 2′ Rated R ‘From Day One,’ Director Says

Simon West shoots down rumors of a PG-13 rating, telling MTV News it's far too 'ruthless' to be anything but R-rated.

When a film like “The Expendables 2” boasts a cast of some of the bloodiest legends in action-movie history all in one place, an R rating seems like a foregone conclusion.

For a while, that wasn’t the case.

Back in January of this year, word circulated that Chuck Norris requested a PG-13 rating, so that all of his fans could see “Expendables 2.” Stallone later confirmed this with Ain’t It Cool, and the fallout from fans came quickly. How could “The Expendables” ever have a PG-13 sequel?

Though the rating eventually switched back to the current R rating, director Simon West told MTV News that on set that “The Expendables 2″ was never meant to be PG-13.

“I did hear the rumor that somebody wanted it to be PG-13,” West said. “I even have a conspiracy theory that someone may have put that rumor out there just to get the discussion going, but there’s no way that any of those guys could turn up on set and read those lines and it not be R-rated.”

West said that the very nature of the series demands a more adult rating. “The action is very hard-core. I can’t see how ‘Expendables’ could ever be less than R, because that’s its style,” he said. “It’s ruthless. It’s hard-core. These guys are old, tough mercenaries, and I don’t know how you can do a PG-13 version of it, and certainly in the shooting style and the dialogue, from day one, it was R-rated.”

When it came down to it, the R rating is what the audience wanted. “I think that’s the core audience. The audience wanted that,” West said. “From the reaction when the rumor did come out, that it was PG-13, you could see the outrage from the audience. It was obviously the right decision to make it R-rated.”

Check out everything we’ve got on “The Expendables 2.”

For breaking news and previews of the latest comic book movies — updated around the clock — visit SplashPage.MTV.com.

Writer/editor for MTV. If it involves cowboys, spies, or hitmen, I'm there. All three would be ideal.