Instagram: @matthewmichaellopez
Instagram: @matthewmichaellopez

The director of Red, White & Royal Blue has opened up about the film’s R rating. 

Back in May, the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) announced that the LGBTQ+ rom-com would be Rated-R due to “language, some sexual content, and partial nudity.”

Because the two central characters – in the words of one Twitter user – “f**k every time they see each other in the book”, fans celebrated the news on social media.

With the premiere of Red, White & Royal Blue set for 11 August, director Matthew López broke his silence on the film’s rating in a recent interview with PEOPLE.

“I think I was a little surprised at the R rating just because, while I never was encouraged to limit what we were showing or limit what I was depicting, the scene is what I intended to show. It plays exactly how I wanted to play,” he explained. 

“But, I do question whether or not if it had been a man and a woman, if we’d still gotten an R rating.” 

López then explained his theory regarding the MPA rating system and its preference for violence over sexuality.

“I think if there had been a scene of violence between them, I could have kept a PG-13 rating, but because they’re having sex and they’re two men, we got an R,” he added. 

While the award-winning playwright was shocked over the R rating, he admitted that he didn’t sign on to the project with the intention of making a PG-13 film. 

“Contractually, I had the ability to deliver an R rating. There was no limitations on it. I didn’t have to do a PG-13 movie. I wanted to make sure the film was going to be as accessible to as many people as possible,” he explained. 

“I didn’t want to limit who the audience would be, but I also didn’t want to limit my ability to tell the story in the way that I wanted to tell it.

“The funny thing is that once I realized we were going to be rated R, in ADR I went back and put a couple more f**k’s into the film. I figured why not now?” 

Red, White & Royal Blue is set to premiere on 11 August on Prime Video. 

Based on Casey McQuiston’s iconic New York Bestseller of the same name, the new film stars Taylor Zakhar Perez as Alex Claremont-Diaz and Nicholas Galitzine as Prince Henry.

The synopsis reads: “Separated by an ocean, their long-running feud hasn’t really been an issue, until a disastrous—and very public—altercation at a royal event becomes tabloid fodder, driving a potential wedge in U.S./British relations at the worst possible time.

“Going into damage-control mode, their families and handlers force the two rivals into a staged “truce.” But as Alex and Henry’s icy relationship unexpectedly begins to thaw into a tentative friendship, the friction that existed between them sparks something deeper than they ever expected.”

 Watch the first trailer for Red, White & Royal Blue here or below.