One of 2018’s standout science-fiction film’s was a stylishly violent hard R – but it nearly was a little bit softer.

Film Stories recently had the pleasure of chatting to veteran Aussie stuntman and fight coordinator, Chris Weir, in particular about Upgrade, the excellent science-fiction action movie that set the internet alight last year when its trailer debuted. That trailer showcased some bone-crunchingly violent scenes that bracketed the film clearly as a R-rated film.

If you haven’t seen Upgrade, it’s well worth seeking out. Its mixture of dark humour, trans-human themes and splatterpunk violence reminded us of Paul Verhoven’s 1987 classic Robocop, and that’s never a bad comparison to have to live with.

Surprisingly though, Weir did reveal that the Leigh Whannell-helmed film did reach a point when the production crew had a few serious discussions about redirecting the film towards a PG-13 rating.

It wouldn’t be the first time we’ve seen a project trade away some of its sensibilities in the hope of drawing a larger audience, but thankfully, Upgrade retained its hard edge and we’d argue the film is better for it.

Whannell is currently in post-production with The Invisible Man, starring Elisabeth Moss, where Weir too will be present handling fight coordination. For more details on the construction of Upgrade’s fight sequences, keep an eye out for October’s print issue of Film Stories.

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