Peter Berg had a couple of scraps with the MPAA's ratings board to win a PG-13 rating for Hancock --the Will Smith super(anti-)hero blockbuster.
"They hate sexual intercourse," says the director. "They hate sex, and they hate the word f---. It’s really that simple."
There's also the issue of "general intensity," a catch-all category that had Berg trimming seconds from the movie's final hospital room scene. An opening sequence in which Smith's Hancock tries to kill himself was also excised -- "just very dark," says Berg. "And there’s a lovemaking scene with Hancock and a groupie which I thought was pretty hilarious. That will be on the DVD."
Berg, who went from acting (The Last Seduction, TV's Chicago Hope) to directing (Very Bad Things, a bachelor party nightmare black comedy, was his first), has a bunch of things in the works. Right up there is a new version of Frank Herbert's sci-fi classic, Dune. The same desert planet epic was adapted for the screen back in the Eighties. David Lynch directed, and Kyle MacLachlan, Virginia Madsen ad a giant sandworm starred.
"We’re looking for writers right now," Berg reports. "That’s probably a couple of years off in the distance, but, yeah, I definitely want to do my interpretation."
And what about the Lynch Dune?
"I thought it was intresting, and I think it left the door open for some interpretation. My experience with Dune, reading the book in highschool, is [it's] kind of a more muscular adventure tale than I think has been realized onscreen. Something a little rougher and a little more muscular. And I think our worm’s going to be a little bit more ferocious."
Berg is also doing a new TV series with Ron Moore, the creator of Battlestar Galactica, called Virtuality, that starts shooting next month.
"And then I think I might do a movie called Lone Survivor, a kind of Black Hawk Down-style film about a gunfight that the Navy Seals get into in Afghanistan."