Kangaroo Jack star Jerry O’Connell confirms an R-rated version of the 2003 crime comedy film exists.
Actor Jerry O’Connell, who starred in the PG-rated 2003 crime comedy Kangaroo Jack, confirmed an R-rated cut of the movie exists — complete with swearing and even full-frontal nudity.
During an appearance on the Kinda Funny Podcast, O’Connell recalled how Kangaroo Jack began life as a film titled Down and Under. The film was intended by producer Jerry Bruckheimer to be a raunchy crime comedy in the spirit of the 1988 film Midnight Run, which starred Robert de Niro. “They immediately tested the film the second they had a cut of it,” O’Connell recalled. “And everyone was like, ‘I was going to take my kids to this!’ They thought it was about a talking kangaroo cause they said it was about a kangaroo with a jacket on it. They went ‘I can’t take my kids to this, you know. He’s saying the f-word and there’s nudity… It’s a dirty movie.'”
Bruckheimer informed O’Connell that the R-rated film would be recut as a family-friendly PG film. “I was sort of new to the business. I was in my twenties — in my mid-twenties,” O’Connell explained. “I was, like, ‘It doesn’t bother me. Do what you want to do. I’m not going to tell Jerry Bruckheimer how to cut a movie.'” O’Connell recalled the reshoots that took place afterwards, namely the infamous scene in which his character Charlie dreams about the CGI Kangaroo Jack rapping the Sugarhill Gang song “Rapper’s Delight.” That scene infamously was used to market the movie as a children’s film about a talking kangaroo. “This is crazy,” O’Connell said of the trailers. “This is not an animated movie about a talking kangaroo, you know. I mean, I did frontal nudity in this, going through a grotto.”
Kinda Funny Podcast co-host Nick Scarpino suggested that the original vision of Down and Under be restored in the vein of the Snyder Cut of Justice League. “What I’m hearing from you is that there is an R-rated of Kangaroo Jack somewhere out there,” Scarpino suggested. “How do we bring this to HBO Max? Where is the O’Connell cut?” O’Connell confirmed, “There is an R-rated cut of Kangaroo Jack out there.”
Kangaroo Jack follows two men, played by O’Connell and Anthony Anderson, who are recruited by the mob to deliver a package containing $50,000 to Australia. Once there, they accidentally hit a kangaroo with their car, presumably killing it, and put a “lucky jacket” on the kangaroo to pose for pictures with it. The problem comes about when the kangaroo regains consciousness and absconds with the jacket — and the money inside.