‘Rocketman’ First Photo Shows Taron Egerton as Elton John

Taron Egerton in Rocketman
Taron Egerton as Elton John in ‘Rocketman’ from Paramount Pictures.

Paramount Pictures has released the first full-body photo of Taron Egerton in Rocketman. Egerton, best known for the Kingsman films and starring in the titular role in Eddie the Eagle, channels Sir Elton John in what’s described as a fantasy musical rather than a musical biopic.

In the just-released photo, Egerton shows off his version of Elton John complete with John’s signature glitter glasses and unique footwear.

During an interview with Collider, Egerton shared that the film will concentrate on Elton John’s breakthrough years. “[…] It’s actually his songs used to express important beats in his life at emotional moments. He’s not the only character that sings. It’s going to be fun,” explained Egerton.

Egerton also revealed he took singing lessons to prepare for the role and will be performing all the songs on set. “We’re going to use a variety of techniques but I will always be singing on set. No miming. I’m just not interested in doing it that way,” said Egerton.

In a March 2018 interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Elton John’s husband, producer David Furnish, discussed Elton’s advice to Egerton. “Elton has told Taron, ‘Don’t copy me. Don’t think you have to sing it exactly the way that I sang it. Don’t think you have to perform it the way I performed it.’ I think it’s the challenge for the actor to embody the spirit and not get into thinking they have to do an impersonation,” said Furnish.

Songwriter Bernie Taupin provided the details on the story behind Elton John’s hit “Rocket Man,” the song that inspired the film’s title, in an interview with the Wall Street Journal. Taupin had been driving to his parents’ home at night when he thought about Ray Bradbury’s “The Rocket Man” short story.

“In ’71, the future of space flight was exhilarating. America was putting astronauts on the moon. Yet 20 years earlier, Bradbury had envisioned future astronauts as little more than intergalactic truck drivers, burning themselves out alone far from home,” revealed Taupin. “Driving the back roads, I began writing a song in my head about the drudgery of being an astronaut. As I thought about how to start the song, the first verse came to me at once: ‘She packed my bags last night pre-flight / Zero hour 9 a.m. / And I’m gonna be high as a kite by then.'”

Paramount Pictures’ Rocketman is targeting a May 17, 2019 theatrical release date.

In addition to Taron Egerton, the cast includes TURN‘s Jamie Bell, Game of ThronesRichard Madden, and Jurassic World‘s Bryce Dallas Howard. The film is currently in production and is being directed by Dexter Fletcher. Fletcher recently completed work on the Freddie Mercury biopic, Bohemian Rhapsody.