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Elton John Biopic 'Rocketman' Expected To Get R-Rating For Sex, Drug Scenes
Paramount test screened Rocketman last week in Pasadena, according to a source, and received scores in the high 80s for the $40 million film, a promising sign for an unfinished musical that grapples with some challenging themes, including John's drug addiction. The movie also includes scenes from the singer's childhood as a student at the Royal Academy of Music, his friendship with writing partner Bernie Taupin (Jamie Bell) and his acceptance of his sexuality.
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.
Fletcher's last assignment as a director was stepping in for the last three weeks of principal production on Bohemian Rhapsody after Fox fired director Bryan Singer. The producers' decision to release the Queen biopic as a PG-13 film which spent little time on singer Freddie Mercury's sexuality was controversial among some film critics. Bohemian Rhapsody went on to earn $879 million at the worldwide box office and four Oscars.
From the beginning, Rocketman's producers, including Matthew Vaughn, envisioned it as a different and grittier film, with Egerton singing John's songs live, and with the singer's sexuality explored in depth.
This article originally appeared on The Hollywood Reporter.