After Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s directorial debut, “Don Jon,” premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January, festivalgoers questioned whether the pornography-laden version of the movie would make it to theaters intact.
The initial cut, starring Gordon-Levitt as a New Jersey lothario whose porn addiction begins to interfere with his romantic life, was filled with sexually explicit footage. While the actor’s character didn’t engage in particularly graphic sex, he was often seen watching online porn rife with fake breasts, bare behinds and exotic sexual positions. Many who saw the picture wondered whether the Motion Picture Assn. of America would assign the movie an R rating if some of the raciest bits were not edited out.
It turns out that some of those moments have been excised from the film’s final cut -- though Gordon-Levitt wouldn’t say whether the move was made to appease the ratings board.
“The Sundance cut was us pushing it past where it really ought to be, and I think it was sort of distracting for audiences,” the actor said last week in Las Vegas at CinemaCon, where he was given the Breakthrough Filmmaker of the Year Award by the conference for movie theater owners. “People came away feeling like, ‘Oh, this is a movie about porn,’ and I was like, ‘No, it’s not a movie about that at all.’ I think because those images were so strong, they were leaving a heavier impression than I wanted them to.”