Joseph Gordon-Levitt has a bit of a porn problem.
The Dark Knight Rises star, who's making his directorial debut with Don Jon's Addiction, plans to trim some of the most sexually explicit material from his forthcoming indie romantic comedy in order to secure an R rating for theatrical release in the U.S.
"Yes, we expect we have to do that and I'll be getting started on it as soon as I get back," he told a gaggle of reporters (via The Hollywood Reporter) during a press conference at the Berlin Film Festival where the film is screening this week.
Given the story centers on a modern-day Don Juan (played by Gordon-Levitt) whose addiction to pornography causes him to seek out a more fulfilling sex life, editing out some of the more graphic bits might seem like creative blasphemy.
But not so, according to Joe.
"I think it's important that those images are in there, but what precisely you see isn't that important," added Gordon-Levitt about the penises and vaginas that'll be getting the ax for distribution sake. "What's important is the rhythm of the film, the repetition of what the Don Jon character does, over and over."
Don Jon's Addiction, which costars Scarlett Johansson, Julianne Moore and Tony Danza, premiered at last month's Sundance Film Festival and, after generating a lot of buzz, quickly found a distributor. Relativity Media bought U.S. rights to the flick for $4 million, but as part of the deal, it's requiring the filmmakers to ensure an R rating so it can recoup its investment.
That's because NC-17 rated films are notoriously hard to book as many exhibitors avoid booking them, and as a consequence, often fail at the box office.
But for Gordon-Levitt, Don Jon has always been more a "love story" disguised as a comedy than a study in sexual peccadilloes.
No word yet when it'll hit theaters.