The Dark Knight Rises Cut a ‘Sickening’ Death Scene to Avoid Getting an NC-17 Rating

Auteur blockbuster filmmaker Christopher Nolan is often cited as only a handful of Hollywood directors who can get a blank check to make pretty much any kind of a movie he wants. But it seems there are some industry forces that even Nolan is sometimes forced to bow down in front of, namely, the censors. Matthew Modine, who played the role of Peter Foley in Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises, recently revealed during an appearance on CinemaBlend’s ReelBlend podcast how his gory death scene in the film had to be removed to prevent an NC-17-rating.

“[Nolan] cut my death scene out of Dark Knight Rises. Because he said it was so violent that it would have gotten an NC-17 rating. … Marion Cotillard — after Bane dies and Batman, Chris [Bale] gets stabbed, she gets in one of those vehicles. She starts to drive away, and I’m shooting at her. And I got run over. All it does is, it just cuts, and I’m on the ground, dead. But it was so violent.”

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The scene in question takes place near the end of the film, when Batman returns to Gotham City to stop Bane’s reign of terror, only to discover his former friend Miranda had been Bane’s master Talia Al Ghul all along. After Talia makes a break for it in a tank, Peter Foley tries to stop her, only to get run over by her tank, killing him instantly. As Modine describes it, a stuntman was used to pull off his death scene, and the experience was far from pleasant.

“The guy that was doubling me got hit by the car. They put a plexiglass thing on the front of [the car] and he got hit. They had ropes to pull him into the air, but he went up and they dropped him from about 15 feet, and the sound of his body hitting the cobblestone street in front of the New York Stock Exchange, it was sickening.”

“I remember I looked at Christopher Nolan when we shot it and his face was white. He was like, ‘OK, let’s move on. We got that.’ But it was like, ‘Oh my God, is that guy going to get up? Is he okay?’ But [Nolan] said that if he would have put it in the movie, it would’ve got an NC-17 rating because it was so violent.”

It must have been disappointing for Nolan, Modine, and the stuntman to capture such an impactful scene, but not be able to put it in the film for fear of upsetting the censors. Still, even though the moment of Foley’s death was not a part of the final cut, The Dark Knight Rises went on to become a billion-dollar grossing movie, and cemented Nolan’s status as one of the most successful directors working in Hollywood, while The Dark Knight usurped Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man series as the greatest superhero movie trilogy of all time. This news originated at Cinemablend.

Neeraj Chand

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