After coming out as bisexual in 1976, and then as gay in 1992, Elton John has been one of the most visible openly queer celebrities in Western culture for decades. He’s scored numerous animated movies (including Disney’s The Lion King), been both a close confidant to members of the British royal family and knighted by said family, and even played Donald Trump’s 2005 wedding to Melania—all while openly gay. So it seems kind of surreal that in 2019 there’s hand-wringing over just how queer the musician’s officially sanctioned biopic, Rocketman, will be. And yet, here we are. Even the actor who plays John in the film, Taron Egerton, is questioning what the final product will look like.

“It’s a studio movie. It’s Elton John. We’ve got to own that. I don’t care how well the film does in Russia. It doesn’t matter,” Egerton told British GQ. ”It can’t matter. What’s an extra $25 million at the box office? What are you willing to do for that? Sacrifice sleeping at night because you watered the whole thing down?”

The comments come after a dubious report in the Daily Mail that there was some internal consternation at Paramount Pictures over how much of a sex scene between Egerton, as John, and the former Game of Thrones actor Richard Madden, as John’s former lover and manager John Reid, to leave in the theatrical cut.

“Paramount Pictures have demanded that Rocketman director Dexter Fletcher and producer Matthew Vaughn cut a 40-second scene that shows [Egerton and Madden] writhing on a bed,” wrote the Mail in its best Brit tabloid bluster. “Fully exposed white derrieres are on display, but the nude escapade is tastefully done.”

Fletcher, the director, jumped on Twitter to downplay the report, stressing that editing wasn’t even finished. “Seeing much speculation about ROCKETMAN!!” he wrote. “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.”

Fletcher is the director who stepped in to complete production on Bohemian Rhapsody once Bryan Singer departed the film under shady circumstances. Singer, however, ended up receiving the only directing credit.

For his part, Egerton told GQ that those scenes went pretty far, and he felt a responsibility to not hold back.

“Well, the stuff we shot was pretty explicit,” he told the mag. “I mean, that’s why I made the film. Those scenes are desperately important when you have an icon of that magnitude, who means so much to one community. [John] has been such a standard bearer. And for me, especially as a heterosexual actor, not to push the envelope as far as I can or try to make it a wholehearted celebration of being a gay man would be wrong.”

Last month, The Hollywood Reporter also parlayed information from two sources that the final film will include the intimate scene, and that the studio is fine with the film getting a R rating (so we assume, in Daily Mail parlance, that includes “fully exposed white derrieres”).

Egerton also added that the scene in question is pretty important to the film because it depicts John losing his virginity, and hence coming to terms with his sexuality.

There’s also no ignoring the fact that the controversy comes on the heels of the release of Bohemian Rhapsody and the criticism it faced after some felt it didn’t portray a full and truthful picture of the Queen lead singer Freddie Mercury’s sexuality. Any compromises when it comes to John’s sexuality on film risk coming off like a fresh slap in the face to the LGBTQ community, especially considering that John, unlike Mercury, has been not only open about his sexuality but a champion of LGBTQ causes throughout the past few decades.

Let’s also consider that the film’s reported $40 million budget, while not an art-house number, means that producers certainly aren’t counting on a big global release to make money like it’s some CGI-stuffed mega blockbuster. Indeed, while Rhapsody (itself reportedly about $10 million to $15 million more expensive) received a release in China after all the queer content was cut out, that’s probably not even an option for any Elton John film. The entertainer was reportedly blacklisted by the country in 2012 after he played a concert in Beijing and dedicated it to the dissident artist Ai Weiwei.

There’s a tiny bit of cynicism in us that also makes us wonder if making a big, well-publicized deal out of the two films’ handling of their subjects’ sexuality might be intended to remind fans that despite their close release dates, Rocketman is no Rhapsody clone or quickly produced cash grab. We’ll have to see for ourselves when the film debuts in May.

Related: Rocketman Is Already Being Compared to Bohemian Rhapsody After Releasing 20 Minutes of Footage