Studio bosses call for nude sex scene to be cut from Rocketman - report

Paramount Pictures bosses want Rocketman to have a PG 13 rating, according to a report in The Daily Mail.

Studio executives have reportedly called for a nude sex scene to be cut from Elton John biopic Rocketman.

Directed by Dexter Fletcher and written by Lee Hall, the upcoming film follows the British superstar's early days as a prodigy at the Royal Academy of Music, through to his musical partnership with Bernie Taupin, as well as his struggles with substance abuse, depression, and acceptance of his sexual orientation.

Elton is played by Welsh star Taron Egerton, while Richard Madden takes on the part of his former lover and long-time manager John Reid, however, editors at The Daily Mail have now reported that Paramount Pictures bosses have demanded one raunchy sequence be dropped from the movie. According to writer Baz Bamigboye, the "tastefully done" scene shows John and Reid "writhing on a bed" with fully exposed "derrieres" on display.

"Nonetheless, Paramount are forcing the director to cut the scene so it will have an American PG 13 rating," he claimed, adding that the PG 13 rating is equivalent to a 12A rating in the U.K.

In addition, The Daily Mail alleged that the moment will now be reduced to a "fully dressed warm hello," even though John was fine with the film receiving a restricted rating and apparently instructed the producers and director at the start of production: "Tell it all. Go as R-rated as you need to."

The reason for studio leaders wanting to tone down references to the Sacrifice singer’s relationships may have to do with the success of 2018 Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, in which Fletcher took over as director following the firing of Bryan Singer in December 2017.

Though the feature received mixed reviews from critics, especially in relation to the portrayal of frontman Freddie Mercury’s sexuality, it was a major box office success and won four Oscars, with lead actor Rami Malek taking home the prize for Best Actor.

Representatives for Paramount Pictures have not yet commented on the report.

Rocketman, also starring Jamie Bell and Bryce Dallas Howard, is set to hit cinemas in May.

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