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Rocketman is no Bohemian Rhapsody

Elton John Biopic to be Released Rated R

The Queen biography Bohemian Rhapsody is a huge success despite the behind-the-scenes drama regarding director Bryan Singer and many critical voices concerning the PG 13 rating, which required that many controversial parts of Freddie Mercury's private life were only treated very superficially. Far more than $800 million in worldwide box office revenue and 4 Oscars are the outcome. An achievement, which no music bio ever managed to reach before and which Rocketman probably can't top. Although musically, Elton John definitely plays in the same league as Queen.

Recently, the Daily Mail, which is not necessarily known to be particularly serious news outlet, reported that Rocketman was to be censored in a nude scene so that a PG-13 is possible. Paramount was supposedly forcing director Dexter Fletcher to shorten a scene of almost 40 seconds in which the naked butts of Taron Egerton (as Elton John) and Richard Madden can be seen.

Daily Mail: The film-makers behind the Elton John musical fantasy Rocketman have clashed with a Hollywood studio over a naked sex romp featuring Taron Egerton, the picture’s star, and Bodyguard and Game Of Thrones leading man Richard Madden.

Paramount Pictures have demanded that Rocketman director Dexter Fletcher and producer Matthew Vaughn cut a 40-second scene that shows Egerton, who plays the singer and Madden, cast as his one-time lover and manager John Reid, writhing on a bed. Fully exposed white derrieres are on display, but the nude escapade is tastefully done.

Nonetheless, Paramount are forcing the director to cut the scene so it will have an American PG 13 rating (roughly the equivalent of a British 12A).

The more serious Hollywood reporter also has a story about this bed scene, but it's not said so clearly that the studio demands cuts of a certain length and the headline also assumes that the movie gets an R-rating. Among other things because of the scene, which is supposed to have naked butts, drugs and a lot of F-words. The Hollywood Reporter article was apparently corroborated by two production-related sources who said that the movie probably will get an R.

THR: Paramount’s Elton John musical, is expected to be rated R and will include an intimate love scene between Taron Egerton, who plays the English singer, and Richard Madden, who plays John's former manager and lover, John Reid, two sources close to the film tell The Hollywood Reporter.

Another source, however, also confirmed that there is discussion about this scene.

THR: According to one source close to the production, filmmakers and Paramount are in discussions about the love scene, which has the F-word several times and includes brief rear nudity, and someone snorting cocaine.

The director Dexter Fletcher said on Twitter:

Seeing much speculation about ROCKETMAN!! That’s good! It’s still unfinished so it’s nothing but rumors. It has and always will be the no holds barred, musical fantasy that Paramount and producers passionately support and believe in. See for yourself May 24. Dx x

Producer Matthew Vaughn (Kick-Ass, Kingsman) also mentioned elsewhere that Elton John gave permission to show everything, even if it meant an R-rating. It was always Vaughn's intention to produce a film that showed John's drug consumption and sex life in an unadorned way.

Vaughn: “Elton just said, ‘Tell it all. Go as R-rated as you need to.’ And we do just that, with his blessing. The flaws and the genius are all there.”

However, there is no clear statement regarding the age rating right now. How the film will be released at the end of May is still unclear. The enormous success of Bohemian Rhapsody of course tempts us to make Rocketman suitable for the masses. In Germany, two naked men's butts wouldn't change the age rating, but especially in the US, the MPAA is much more critical when two gays disappear under the blanket. So the scene can very well be decisive for the final rating. We'll see soon enough.

Release: Mar 31, 2019 - Author: sausagemoo81 - Translator: Mike Lowrey

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