‘Mrs. Doubtfire’ Director Clears up Rumor About NC-17 Version of Robin Williams Classic

Earlier this week, a tweet claiming an NC-17 version of the Robin Williams classic Mrs. Doubtfire exists went viral, with many wondering what exactly the comedian could have said during filming to earn such a strong rating for a family comedy. Director Chris Columbus later confirmed that three versions of the movie exist, but none of them are so bad that the Motion Picture Association would slap it with its strictest rating. Columbus said one version of the film would have received an R-rating though.

Back on Thursday, a Twitter account called Film Facts tweeted that Williams "improvised so much" on the Mrs. Doubtfire set that "there were PG, PG-13, R, and NC-17 cuts of the film." The account did not include any sources for this "fact," but that did not stop it from being everywhere. The tweet has over 24,000 likes and has been retweeted over 2,500 times.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Columbus said there is no NC-17 version. In the past, he joked about there being one, but the Home Alone filmmaker said there "could be no" NC-17 version of Mrs. Doubtfire. "The reality is that there was a deal between Robin and myself, which was, he'll do one or two, three scripted takes. And then he would say, 'Then let me play.' And we would basically go on anywhere between 15 to 22 takes, I think 22 being the most I remember," Columbus recalled. "He would sometimes go into territory that wouldn't be appropriate for a PG-13 movie, but certainly appropriate and hilariously funny for an R-rated film."

Mrs. Doubtfire was written by Randi Mayem Singer and Leslie Dixon and stars Williams as voice actor Daniel Hillard, whose ex-wife (Sally Field) gets sole custody of their three children in the divorce. In order to spend time with his children, Daniel disguises himself as a housekeeper named Mrs. Doubtfire. The film earned a PG-13 rating when first released in the U.S. The DVD and Blu-ray releases include over 30 minutes of deleted scenes. It won the Oscar for Best Makeup. The movie also inspired a stage musical that was scheduled to open in April 2020, before the coronavirus pandemic forced producers to cancel.

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Williams did so much improvisation during filming that there could be three to four different versions of the movie, Columbus told EW. Columbus is not interested in releasing a new edit of the movie, but he suggested there could be a documentary that includes Williams' raunchy jokes. "The problem is, I don't recall most of it," Columbus said. "I only know what's in the movie at this point because it's been a long time. But I do remember it was outrageously funny material."