Rocketman is a 2019 UK / USA musical music biography by Dexter Fletcher.
Starring Bryce Dallas Howard, Taron Egerton and Richard Madden.
A musical fantasy about the fantastical human story of
Elton John's breakthrough years.
Rocketman follows in the footsteps of the similarly gay themed Freddie Mercury biopic Bohemian Rhapsod y. Perhaps with an eye on repeating the successful formula of the earlier sanitised and
PG-13 rated biopic, Hollywood producers Paramount seemed to have been pushing for Rocketman to get a PG-13 rating.
Paramount demanded that Rocketman director Dexter Fletcher and producer Matthew Vaughn cut a 40-second scene that depicts Elton John
and one-time lover and manager John Reid, writhing on a bed. Fully exposed white derrieres are on display, but the nude escapade is tastefully done.
However it seems that the film makers won the argument as the film ended up with an R rating that
confirms the sexual content.
In the UK, the film was passed 15 uncut for drug misuse, sex, very strong language.
Update: Distributors win appeal for an M rating
24th May 2019. See
article [pdf] from classification.gov.au
Australia's Review Board has overturned
the Classification Board's MA15+ uncut for strong coarse language in favour of M for mature themes, drug use, sex scene and frequent coarse language'.
The Review Board explained that previous confusion about a cut version was down to
information being embargoed at the request of the film distributor. Two version were submitted but one of these was an unfinished version rather than a censored versions. The Review Board has now supplied a more complete account of the decision process.
Initially the Classification Board passed the film MA15+ uncut for strong coarse language.
The issues requiring an MA15+ over an M rating were related to strong language rather than the gay themes, and in particular the a single use of the word
The distributors appealed the MA15+ rating and won their case as the Review Board reduced the rating to M for mature themes, drug use, sex scene and frequent coarse language'. The Review Board explained its decision:
It is the view of the Classification Review Board that the dramatic biographical context does mitigate the impact of the language, and specifically, the one instance of the use of strong coarse language.
classified M are considered suitable for mature audiences. It is for the above reasons, that the Review Board has decided that the contextual singular use of a strong coarse word can be accommodated at the M classification on this occasion.
The other frequently used coarse words are routinely accommodated at the M classification level.