I have to wonder: why didn’t they do this in the first place?


Mark Wahlberg‘s Father Stu is getting another go on the big screen.

On Wednesday, Sony Pictures announced that the film, which hit theaters back in April for Easter and earned an R rating for “language throughout,” will be re-released in theaters Dec. 9 with a PG-13 edit.

The new version — titled Father Stu: Reborn — is rated PG-13 for “language, an accident scene, sexual references, some violence and smoking.”

In April, Wahlberg, 51, told Insider he invested millions of his own money into completing the movie, a true story drama in which he plays a boxer-turned-priest. It also stars Mel Gibson and Jacki Weaver.

“Let’s just say I put millions and millions of dollars into the film — and then incurring other costs because we went over schedule in production, and there are clearances for the music,” said Wahlberg, adding that a few friends who “believed in the project” also invested in it.

Wahlberg said he “prayed every day about getting this film made.”

“I cannot take credit for the movie’s success because this is God choosing me to make the film,” he added. “He knows finally I get to utilize all the talents and gifts that have been bestowed upon me for his greater good and to serve my part in his big picture.”

He explained that costar Gibson’s 2004 movie The Passion of the Christ “inspired” him to fund his own faith-based movie: “I was really impressed with the quality of the film and him taking a chance and financing the film himself. That was something I always appreciated. It’s his love letter to his faith in God, and it inspired me to do this.”

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It’s worth remembering that Mel Gibson did something similar with “The Passion of the Christ” nearly 20 years ago: 

The Passion Recut was released in theaters on March 11, 2005, with five minutes of the most explicit violence deleted. Gibson explained his reasoning for this re-edited version:

After the initial run in movie theaters, I received numerous letters from people all across the country. Many told me they wanted to share the experience with loved ones but were concerned that the harsher images of the film would be too intense for them to bear. In light of this I decided to re-edit The Passion of the Christ.

Despite the re-editing, the Motion Picture Association of America still deemed The Passion Recut too violent for PG-13, so its distributor released it as unrated. The shortened film showed for three weeks in 960 theaters for a box office total of $567,692, minuscule compared to the $612,054,428 of The Passion.

Footnote: I don’t know if others had this problem, but when my wife and I watched it on Netflix a couple weeks back, we both had problems understanding some of the dialogue. Either the sound was muddy or the actors were mumbling, or both. Annoying.

Meanwhile: check out the new trailer for “Father Stu: Reborn” below.