The upcoming spy thriller Red Sparrow, starring Jennifer Lawrence as a highly-trained Russian agent, has been re-edited by its distributor to secure a 15 certificate from the BBFC.
Lawrence stars as a ‘Sparrow’ agent, who is trained to use her body and mind to manipulate men in order to serve her country.
20th Century Fox showed the film to the BBFC in order to gain advice on securing their preferred age rating and were told that changes needed to be made.
According to the BBFC website: “The company was advised the film was likely to be classified 18 but that their preferred 15 could be achieved by making reductions in one scene of strong sadistic violence (a garroting). When the film was submitted for formal classification appropriate reductions had been made in that scene and the film was classified 15.”
It is not known what changes were made to the footage in order to get the desired rating.
This type of cutting is common practice among studios who wish to take advantage of the higher box office potential provided by a lower age rating.
Lawrence herself was the subject of such a strategy when the first Hunger Games movie was released, with numerous blood splatters cut to avoid a certificate that would’ve excluded part of the teen audience of the books.
The same happened when John Wick: Chapter Two had graphic segments of a suicide scene snipped by 23 seconds last year to avoid an 18 certificate.
When she suffers a career-ending injury, Dominika and her mother are facing a bleak and uncertain future. That is why she finds herself manipulated into becoming the newest recruit for Sparrow School, a secret intelligence service that trains exceptional young people like her to use their bodies and minds as weapons. After enduring the perverse and sadistic training process, she emerges as the most dangerous Sparrow the program has ever produced. Dominika must now reconcile the person she was with the power she now commands, with her own life and everyone she cares about at risk, including an American CIA agent who tries to convince her he is the only person she can trust.
Red Sparrow is set for release on March 2nd.