Kevin Smith treated his fans to some adults-only material at Comic-Con on Saturday.
The writer-director — a cult favorite at the comic-book convention — showed footage from his new film, "Zack and Miri Make a Porno."
He said the comedy starring Seth Rogen, Elizabeth Banks, Justin Long and Traci Lords has been rated NC-17 by the Motion Picture Association of America.
Smith called that rating, which prohibits children under 17 from seeing the film, "disappointing." He said he hopes to have it revised to an R rating.
"I didn't feel it was an NC-17 movie," he told the crowd during a 90-minute presentation peppered with profanity. "I think it's a hard R. I think we earned the R."
Smith said he edited and resubmitted the film three times but couldn't shed the adults-only rating. A hearing will be held Aug. 4 to determine whether his latest cut meets R-rating standards, which would allow a person under 17 to see the film if accompanied by an adult.
An R-rated version of the film is scheduled to be released Oct. 31.
The "Zack and Miri" clip shown to the crowd of thousands featured a heated discussion between a gay couple played by Justin Long and Brandon Routh. Long's character is a porn star who has appeared in various films with unprintable titles, and Zack (Seth Rogen) is fascinated.
Banks, who plays Miri, described the film as "a really sweet love story," but Smith assured fans it was just as raunchy as any of his past flicks, including "Clerks," "Dogma" and "Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back."
The film is a departure visually, though, he said.
"Going into it I wanted it to look better than the stuff we'd done in the past. It kind of looks like a real movie," Smith said. "The most important thing was how do you shoot sex because I've never done that before. ... I wanted the sex to look much better than my sex."