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Dame Judi Dench brings Bond's M back from the dead for Philomena ratings appeal

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Nov 07, 2013 | 3:15pm EST

Dame Judi Dench has brought her James Bond character M back from the dead to appeal a restrictive U.S. rating for her new movie Philomena. The British acting icon portrayed the head of the Secret Intelligence Service MI6 in seven of the Bond films, until she was killed off in 2012's Skyfall. However, Dench has revisited one of her most famous roles for a campaign video as part of producer Harvey Weinstein's bid to convince censors at the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) to lower the 'R' rating for Philomena, a true story about a Catholic woman who tries to track down the son she was forced to give up for adoption at birth. During a TV appearance in America on Thursday (07Nov13), Weinstein debuted a clip of the video, in which Dench appears in her late character's London office and quips, "Just when you thought I was dead..." She then begins to detail a new job for a mystery agent, stating, "I have an important mission for you. Are you familiar with MPAA?" Weinstein reveals he sought the permission of Bond bosses before shooting the video, explaining, "With the blessing of Barbara Broccoli and the Bond team, M has returned from the dead to fight this battle. The appeal is on Wednesday, and M has risen from the dead." The Hollywood producer is determined to win a revised PG-13 rating for the emotional drama to allow children over 13 to see the film without parental guidance, because he is convinced there is nothing offensive in the movie. He says, "There are two F-words in the movie - you're allowed one F (for a PG-13 rating)... The movie is the gentlest, most wonderful true story, filled with humour and joy. They should just put 'PG-13 strong language' on this and make an exception." Dench's co-star Steve Coogan also features in the campaign video, which will premiere in full on the comedy website FunnyorDie.com. Philomena is scheduled for release in the U.S. later this month (Nov13). Weinstein has become a regular MPAA visitor in recent years and won a ratings appeal in 2010 after movie bosses gave his film The Kings Speech a hard R rating. He also challenged them over the NC-17 rating of another movie, Blue Valentine.

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