When Paramount’s upcoming Elton John biopic “Rocketman” hits theatres later this year, it may be without a racy, butt-baring bedroom scene with stars Taron Egerton and Richard Madden.
According to a report in the Daily Mail, the studio is demanding that director Dexter Fletcher and producer Matthew Vaughn cut a 40-second scene that features Egerton (who plays the rocker) and Madden (as his manager and one-time lover John Reid) writhing around in a bed, with their naked butts on full display.
While the scene is said to be “tastefully done,” the studio is reportedly demanding the cut so the film can achieve a PG-13 rating instead of an R, which will increase box-office revenues by allowing moviegoers under the age of 18 to see it.
“Two guys have a naked cuddle to express their love for each other and that will be reduced to a fully dressed warm hello,” a source who worked on the film tells the Mail. “The world knows Elton’s gay. It’s no secret.”
This, however, is at odds with what the “Benny and the Jets” singer told producer Vaughn, who previously told the Mail that John told him not to sanitize his life story.
“This film is going to make people’s jaws hit the ground,” said the producer. “Elton just said, ‘Tell it all. Go as R-rated as you need to.'”
Fletcher caught wind of the reports and turned to Twitter to set the record straight. “Seeing much speculation about ROCKETMAN!! That’s good! It’s still unfinished so it’s nothing but [rumours]. 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,” he said.
Egerton had previously discussed filming that particular scene. “I really threw myself into it, I filmed my first sex scene for this film and it’s with quite a well-known man,” he said in an interview with MTV.
“I’m not someone who is remotely perturbed by male intimacy and I am quite proud of what we’ve done with it,” the actor added. “We really went some places with it.”
Filmgoers will find out if the scene makes the final cut when “Rocketman” hits theatres on May 31.