Mrs Doubtfire director reveals there is ‘outrageously funny material’ from Robin Williams that might be unveiled in new documentary

Chris Columbus said Williams’s improvisation resulted in three or four versions of the film

Ellie Harrison
Saturday 20 March 2021 09:19
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Deleted scene from Mrs Doubtfire after Daniel's cover is revealed

Mrs Doubtfire fans could barely suppress their glee earlier this week when a viral tweet claimed that there is an NC-17 cut of the film.

The 1993 family comedy stars the late Robin Williams as a divorced actor who disguises himself as an elderly female housekeeper to spend time with his children when his former wife gets custody. It was rated PG-13 upon its release.

Speaking with Entertainment Weekly on Friday (19 March), the movie’s director Chris Columbus said there is actually no NC-17-rated version of the film, but there are three different versions of it, including an R-rated cut.

“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,” he said.

As a result, Williams came up with new versions and new lines in every take. “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. I only [previously] used the phrase NC-17 as a joke.”

Columbus added that all of Williams’s improvisation resulted in “three or four versions of the film”.

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“I would be open to maybe doing a documentary about the making of the film, and enabling people to see certain scenes re-edited in an R-rated version,” he said. “The problem is, I don’t recall most of it. 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.”

Earlier this year, a documentary was made about Williams’s life and death, called Robin’s Wish.

The Independent’s critic, Clarisse Loughrey, described the film as a “desperately sad” account of the actor’s final days.

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