Elton John Biopic ‘Rocketman’ Might be R-Rated

‘Rocketman’, the upcoming biopic on the English singer Elton John, will probably be R-rated for the portrayal of drugs and sex. The epic musical fantasy by Paramount stars Taron Egerton as Elton and is likely to include an intimate sex scene with Elton’s former manager and lover, John Reid, played by Richard Madden of ‘Game of Thrones‘ and ‘Bodyguard‘ fame.

To get you caught up with the details of the film, it has Dexter Fletcher as the director, who is now in the process of editing the movie. It has been produced by David Furnish, John’s husband, and is slated to release in the USA on May 31 and on May 24 in the UK. According to reports, Paramount had been putting pressure on the filmmakers to cut at least part of the scene. However, Fletcher addressed this in a tweet, saying, “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.” However, The Hollywood Reporter has stated that Paramount and filmmakers are holding discussions about the love scene in question, which apparently has the F-word several times along with complete nudity for a brief period of time as well as someone snorting cocaine.

Irrespective of what Paramount might think, early screen testing of ‘Rocketman’ in Pasadena has been successful. Apparently, the $40 million film received a score in the high 80s. This appears to be a promising sign for the yet unfinished musical. To keep you apprised of the plot, the movie grapples with challenging themes which also includes Elton John’s drug addiction. Parts of the movie will also include scenes from John’s childhood when he was a student at the  Royal Academy of Music. ‘Rocketman’ also seeks to explore John’s friendship with Bernie Taupin, his writing partner, played by Jamie Bell, and how John came to terms with his sexuality. Egerton spoke about the role, saying, “What I felt was very special about this project is largely down to Elton’s very specific personality type, and especially him having gone through recovery, which I think leads to a certain quality of openness and candidness. The movie begins with Elton marching into rehab, in a real bad way – sweaty, grinding his teeth… and that’s our jumping off point for the film, and we learn about his life through him recounting his experiences from this therapy room. For him to come at this from a standpoint of ‘I’m going to show everyone myself at my most vulnerable and my most broken and damaged,’ I think that quality of bravery and lack of concern with how one comes across is quite unusual actually, and it is right at the heart of what makes ‘Rocketman’ quite special, because Elton gave me the license to go and make him look quite ugly at times and that was always very important to me. This movie is primarily a celebration of Elton’s life and work and his musical partnership with [song-writing partner] Bernie Taupin, but it is also a story about someone who was not well becoming well, and that was always what I found most interesting and most exciting about it, and I feel that the balance [director Dexter Fletcher] struck between those two primary aims was really great.” What Egerton says aligns with the vision that the producers had for the film, which would be grittier, and would explore John’s sexuality in depth, while including Egerton singing John’s songs live.

Fletcher’s last stint as a director was stepping in towards the end of ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ after Bryan Singer was fired by Fox.