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Netflix's A Family Affair Originally Had A Much More Explicit Title

All eyes are on Netflix's "A Family Affair," which debuted on the streaming platform in late June. The romantic comedy, which features Zac Efron and Nicole Kidman in leading roles, stands out as the service's most-watched film this week, according to Netflix. With over 26 million views between June 24 and June 30, 2024, it's fair to say that the picture is a major hit for the streamer. Could the film have fared better if the creatives had stuck to its original, extremely explicit title? In a chat with People, Efron and Kidman revealed the pic was originally titled "Motherf***er." 

Kidman explained that the "f**k" expletive was intended to be beeped out. "Somehow that didn't make it onto the Netflix title," the "Eyes Wide Shut" actress shared. If "A Family Affair" had stuck with its original title, it's fair to say that it would have dominated the cultural conversation even more thanks to the name's shock value. While it definitely would have been hilarious and led to more buzz, "A Family Affair" is a perfectly adequate and surprisingly cheeky name for the comedy. 

Both titles are genuinely apt and perfect for the Netflix release, which follows Zara (Joey King), who works for the Hollywood A-lister Chris Cole (Efron). Her life turns upside down when her boss falls for her mom (Kidman). As you can tell, "Motherf***er" was a solid, totally on-the-nose title. In fact, the pic's original title is what compelled the "High School Musical" star to consider the project. 

Why Netflix's A Family Affair was important for Zac Efron and Nicole Kidman

Despite the mixed-to-negative reception the film has accrued — it has a poor 39% critics score on Rotten Tomatoes — Nicole Kidman and Zac Efron were tantalized by the project from the get-go, and their excitement had a lot to do with the pic's original, explicit title. "That made the script stay at the top of the pile," Efron said about the OG name. "It's like, what on Earth could this be about?" Starring in a lighthearted comedy was probably also an opportunity for the actor to take on a less intensive role. Last year, Efron bulked up even more to deliver a stellar physique in "The Iron Claw." 

The "Greatest Showman" actor was particularly excited to work with Kidman again — they first appeared in "The Paperboy" together. "I jumped. I think we both kind of did. ... It was like, this is perfect. What better way to reconnect? And we get to have fun," Efron discussed. 

From Kidman's point of view, starring in "A Family Affair" was the opportunity to tackle a key issue. Kidman, who was first told she wouldn't get a career in Hollywood for a ridiculous reason, thought the Netflix flick would help challenge norms regarding age gaps between older women and younger men in films. "We've had it from way back with older men and younger women. That's just always been the norm. It's okay; it's completely acceptable. The problem is we've not had the equivalent," the "Aquaman" actress said.

Loved the Netflix romantic comedy? Learn why Efron looks so different than usual in "A Family Affair."