Why Nickelodeon Is Releasing Its First PG-13 Film
This story first appeared in the Nov. 2 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
Underage drinking and a giant robotic chicken humping a car? Move over, Rugrats, Nickelodeon Movies is all grown up.
The Paramount label once associated with G-rated kiddie fare like Charlotte’s Web is releasing its first PG-13 film Oct. 26 with the Josh Schwartz-helmed teen comedy Fun Size.
The move marks the culmination of the label’s seven-year makeover. “We have been looking to define Nickelodeon movies as something not just for children but for everyone, including children,” says Paramount vice chair Rob Moore. “In the past, there wasn’t much breadth in the target audience.”
Moore cites recent Nick movies releases The Last Airbender, Rango and The Adventures of Tintin — all PG films that earned a combined $939 million worldwide.
Still, there’s a limit to how adult the label will skew.
“I think the way I originally wrote it, it would have been R mainly because of language and innuendo,” says Max Werner of his Black List screenplay, which marks Schwartz (Gossip Girl) and Fake Empire partner Stephanie Savage’s first movie after they inked a first-look deal with Paramount. “But the studio always wanted it to come in at PG-13.”
Quips Schwartz, “If it’s too watered down, it’s for nobody."