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Rocketman, Paramount's biopic telling the life story of singer/songwriter Elton John, premiered at Cannes over the weekend.

And no matter what the reviews end up looking like, the film has already made history.

It is the first major studio film to depict gay male sex onscreen.


Though other well-known films like Brokeback Mountain and Call Me By Your Name have included gay male sex scenes, Rocketman is the first to be released by a major studio (not a specialty offshoot like Focus Features or Sony Classics) and aimed at a wide audience.

Though steps towards depicting gay romance on screen were taken during the 70's and 80's, studios have more recently become increasingly hesitant to portray the act.

Even 2018's Bohemian Rhapsody, which followed the life of famously bisexual Queen lead singer Freddie Mercury, took pains to avoid any overt references to the musicians sexuality.

Part of studios' reasons for this is, of course, the Chinese market, which has become a major profit center for American films.

Due to China's strict censorship laws, a film can be disqualified from showing in the massive country if it depicts or "promotes" homosexuality.

Despite this, Paramount chief Jim Gianopulos green-lit Rocketman, which contains not only homosexual sex scenes, but also "frank talk about John's sexuality."


Star Taron Egerton told THR he isn't sure what all the fuss is about:

"Everyone is obsessed with it. … For me, kissing a man onscreen is no less appealing than kissing a woman onscreen. I'm not in any way repulsed by the male form. [Kissing a relative stranger] is an uncomfortable thing regardless of who you're with — it makes no difference as to your sexual preference."




Go see for yourself when Rocketman hits theaters this May 31!

Until then you can watch the trailer here.

Rocketman (2019) - Official Trailer - Paramount Pictures www.youtube.com

And enjoy Elton John's music on his greatest hits compilation Diamonds, available here.


Liam McBurney - PA Images / Getty Images

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