MPAA takes down ‘Expendables’ fan trailer; will filmmakers re-cut?


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Apparently we weren’t the only ones taking note of that fan ode to’The Expendables’ trailer.

The ‘Call to Arms’ homage -- which impressed us and plenty of other YouTube viewers with its brilliant use of an Andrew W.K. song and its playful call to arms for men to take back the box office -- has been taken down at the request of the Motion Picture Assn. of America.


Our first thought was that Lionsgate, perturbed that a fan trailer was showing up its own marketing material (there were nearly 200,000 views for the fan piece in less than two days), may have made the request. But the studio didn’t contact YouTube.

The MPAA, however, did, and though the group doesn’t typically get hot and bothered about fan trailers, it did in this case. ‘We don’t normally get involved, but there was a shot in the trailer that suggested it had been submitted for approval by our advertising review board, and it hadn’t,’ a spokesman told 24 Frames. (The shot in question is that screen you probably see but barely notice at the front of all trailers stating that the trailer has been approved by the MPAA for a given audience.)

That screen also featured a green all-audience message here for a trailer that quickly flashes an obscenity at the end; the spokesman said that combination was a small factor in the MPAA’s decision but ‘not the main reason.’

All of that probably means that a trailer re-cut without the MPAA screen would pass muster. We’re imagining a call to arms for a new ‘Call to Arms.’ [UPDATE - 10:37 am Thursday: Looks like producers The Monocular Group have indeed recut without the offending screen, and the trailer is alive and doing well.]

-- Steven Zeitchik

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