Ari Aster is making a 'Midsommar' extended cut, and he clashed with censors over full-frontal nudity

Tom Beasley
Florence Pugh and Jack Reynor have the holiday from hell in folk horror movie 'Midsommar', directed by Ari Aster. (Credit: A24)

Midsommar director Ari Aster has revealed he is working on an extended cut of his terrifying folk horror, which will add at least half an hour to the original running time.

Aster also revealed his film was initially slapped with a dreaded NC-17 rating by the MPAA as a result of a full-frontal nude scene involving actor Jack Reynor.

The director, who rose to fame in 2018 when his debut feature Hereditary became a buzzy genre hit, discussed his new film during an ‘Ask Me Anything’ (AMA) session on Reddit.

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He was asked about previous comments in which he said that more than an hour of footage was cut from the initial assembly edit of Midsommar.

“Working on extended cut now,” he wrote. “Won't be 1 hr 20 mins longer, but will be at least 30 mins longer.”

The film, which follows several American students as they experience the dark rituals of a Pagan festival in Sweden, runs for 147 minutes in its theatrical cut.

'Midsommar' is director Ari Aster's follow-up to smash hit 'Hereditary'. (Credit: A24)

Aster was also asked about the full-frontal nude scene with Reynor’s character, Christian, in which the user expressed surprise that such an explicit scene was permitted in an R-rated movie.

The filmmaker said there was “lots of back-and-forth” with classification body the MPAA and admitted “we had an NC-17 for six weeks”.

The NC-17 certificate has been described as a “kiss of death” for movies, as they are not able to advertise widely and several major cinema chains refuse to screen films with that rating.

In the UK, the British Board of Film Classification gave Midsommar an 18 certificate for “strong gory images”.

'Midsommar' has been compared to folk horror classics including 'The Wicker Man'. (Credit: A24)

Midsommar stars Florence Pugh and Will Poulter, as well as Reynor, and has secured positive reviews from film critics.

It currently has an approval rating of 82% on aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, with the site’s critical consensus describing the movie as “ambitious, impressively crafted, and above all unsettling”.

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The film earned $11m (£8.75m) in its opening weekend in the USA, securing the highest debut for an indie film this year.