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When you think of the movie musical, you think of fun song and dance numbers that, traditionally, are part of a grand, larger than life story. However, the tone of a musical is usually such that things never get too serious or too deep. However, it seems that the forthcoming musical about the life of Elton John, Rocketman, is going all in, as star Taron Egerton has revealed that the film includes an apparently quite physical gay sex scene with Richard Madden, and even deals with the singer's time spent in rehab. According to Egerton...
I probably shouldn't be telling you this but we have a sex scene. We went to some places together and got quite physical. I've watched it back and I think it looks great. The grown-up nature of the film, combined with it being a musical, makes it feel quite zeitgeisty. I don't know if I'm allowed to say this but it's basically about Elton in rehab, so we're not watering anything down.
Richard Madden plays the role of John Reid in Rocketman, who became Elton John's manager as well as lover. It seems that when it came time for the two to film a sex scene together, both of the actors decided to give it their all. While Egerton doesn't really go into detail about what that means, it sounds like we could be in for quite a passionate love scene.
However, what's probably more interesting about Taron Egerton's comments to The List is his revealing that the movie is about Elton John in rehab. The first trailer for the film does show Elton John getting indulgent, and one shot where he's receiving medical attention of some kind. It sounds like the rehab aspect might be a framing device for the film, a place for Elton John to look back on his life and career, which might also explain why the story gets a little fantastic when it comes to the more traditional movie musical elements. It's all happening in Elton's head.
Telling stories about a person's real life in film is always tough because no life is without its darker elements and while you want to tell a story that is true, a filmmaker also wants to tell one that is entertaining for the audience in someway. That need for entertainment is all the more true when you're making a musical, so Rocketman could be forgiven if it glossed over some elments of Elton John's life, especially since the movie isn't designed to be a realistic biopic, the tagline for the film is that it is based on a "real fantasy.". However, it seems that, at least in some cases, the movie decided to be more serious and, as Taron Egerton says, "adult."