The director of Rocketman, the forthcoming Elton John biopic due out in May, has denied rumours the studio behind it, Paramount, has pushed for a gay sex scene to be cut.

Dexter Fletcher, who stepped in to finish Bohemian Rhapsody after its credited director Bryan Singer was fired for failing to show up on set following repeated allegations of sexual assault, said reports that the scene would be cut were “nothing but rumors”.

“Seeing much speculation about Rocketman!!” he posted on Twitter.

“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.”

Matthew Vaughn, an executive producer on the film, has previously said that John himself favoured a warts-and-all approach to depicting his life.

“This film is going to make people’s jaws hit the ground,” Vaughn said.

“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.”

Bohemian Rhapsody drew significant criticism for its minimisation of Freddie Mercury’s sexuality in telling his story, but went on to win multiple Oscars including Best Actor for Rami Malek’s performance.

Reports emerged over the weekend that Paramount wanted a scene in Rocketman between Taron Egerton, playing John, and Richard Madden, playing his manager and lover John Reid, in which they appear naked in bed together to be cut to achieve a PG-13 rating in the US.

The scene is said to not feature any sex, but would run about 40 seconds and show both Egerton and Madden’s bare bums.

As is becoming increasingly common, it’s likely Paramount would also have concerns over Rocketman‘s international box office being impacted by socially conservative countries forcing the scene to be cut or having the film banned outright for depicting overt homosexuality.

Rocketman will be released in Australian cinemas on May 30. Watch the trailer below – while there’s no overt gayness, it certainly looks camp enough to suit its subject.

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