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‘The Russian version of the Elton John movie removes Elton John’ A censored edit of ‘Rocketman’ premieres in Moscow, unleashing a meme war

Source: Meduza
Gavin Bond / Paramount Pictures

The world-famous musician Elton John has been openly gay for more than a quarter of a century, and at one time drugs were also an integral part of his life. Naturally, all this features big in “Rocketman,” the new biopic from Paramount Pictures, starring Taron Egerton. The film even features an epilogue before the closing credits, where audiences learn that John ultimately fell in love. There’s also a photograph showing the happy couple together.

But not in Russia, where the film’s distributor, “Central Partnership,” decided to cut all the scenes of drugs and gay sex “to comply with the laws of the Russian Federation.” The company even removed the text from the epilogue about John falling in love with a man. The Russian version of the movie is being censored like this, even though it’s rated “18 and older” for audiences. Federal officials at Russia’s Culture Ministry insist that they never asked Central Partnership to delete anything from the film.

The film distributor has come in for harsh criticism on Twitter, where Russians have argued that the censored version of the movie presents an entirely different Elton John, robbed of his love life and his adventures with drugs.

“Our Elton John is a Russian Orthodox Christian and was born in Tver.”
Elton John: I want my biopic to have everything, including the sex, the drugs, and the booze.
Director: And it will.
Russian distributors: We're cutting it.
“The Russian version of the Elton John movie removes Elton John.”
Oleg Kozyrev
“The Russian distributor has removed the scenes of balls and duels from the Pushkin biopic.”
“They've cut Rocketman's bedroom scenes and replaced them with archival footage of Yuri Gagarin.”

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