Kingsman‘s Taron Egerton is a young and rambunctious Elton John in Paramount Pictures’ teaser trailer for the biopic Rocketman. The film spans the breadth of John’s life, covering his early days at the Royal Academy of Music on through to his rise to music superstardom in the 1970s, the formation of his partnership with lyricist Bernie Taupin (played here by Jamie Bell) and his relationship with his mother, Sheila Eileen (Bryce Dallas Howard).
This particular (Sir) Elton John memoir has been in the works since 2011, with James McAvoy and Tom Hardy attached to play the legendarily flamboyant music artist at different points during pre-production. Rocketman was eventually green-lit with Egerton starring this past spring, some time after Paramount had acquired the distribution rights from Focus Features. The studio got the ball rolling on the film’s marketing last week, when it released a photo of Egerton as Elton John dressed in a glittering gold jacket and equally glittery glasses.
Egerton, who appeared opposite the real-life Elton John in last year’s Kingsman: The Golden Circle, has already cautioned that Rocketman isn’t really a traditional biopic so much as a “fantasy musical” about John’s life and songs. Even so, the film claims to tell (per its official logline) “the uncensored human story of Sir Elton John’s breakthrough years”. For more on that, watch the Rocketman teaser trailer in the space below.
Whereas this fall’s musical biopic Bohemian Rhapsody managed to earn a PG-13 rating by focusing more on Freddie Mercury and Queen’s concert performances than their party-happy personal lives, Rocketman will go the opposite route and offer an R-rated dive into John’s early life of sex, drugs and – what else? – rock ‘n’ roll. The film was written by Lee Hall (Billy Elliot) and reunited Egerton with Dexter Fletcher, the director of his acclaimed biographical sports dramedy Eddie the Eagle. As evidenced by the trailer, Egerton will be doing some of his own singing in the film, including performing the titular Elton John tune.
Fletcher, as it were, stepped in to finish production on Bohemian Rhapsody late last year, shortly after original director Bryan Singer was fired. While Singer will remain the sole director credited on the Freddie Mercury/Queen biopic, that may actually work out in Fletcher’s favor. The filmmaker now gets to try and make his name with a musician memoir that he developed from the ground-up, rather than one he took over at the eleventh hour – and if the exhilarating Rocketman teaser trailer is any indicator, then Fletcher may yet succeed in doing just that.
Source: Paramount Pictures
- Rocketman (2019) release date: May 31, 2019