Elton John Biopic ‘Rocketman’ Lands Taron Egerton as Lead
Plans for an Elton John biopic continue to wend their way through development, with the project currently on the verge of securing studio financing — and ready to announce its leading man.
Deadline reports that Paramount is "closing a deal" to back the project, which is titled Rocketman and is being directed by Dexter Fletcher — a name that might be familiar to classic rock fans as the man who took the reins of the Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody after Bryan Singer departed the production.
Fletcher will direct Taron Egerton in the leading role, and according to Deadline's sources, the 28-year-old actor — recently seen alongside John in Kingsman: The Golden Circle — is already throwing himself into preparations for the part. Plans call for Egerton to sing John's songs for the movie, and "everyone who has heard him" has reportedly been "gobsmacked by the quality of his voice and its proximity to the subject."
Whether that's standard Hollywood hype or actually close to the truth remains to be seen, but it's worth noting that John and his husband David Furnish are both producers on the project, and would presumably have little problem hitting the brakes on Rocketman if they weren't completely happy with whatever's going on behind the scenes. A release date isn't mentioned in the report, but the movie already has a script courtesy of Billy Elliot vet Lee Hall, and production is eyeing a summer start date.
Aside from tackling John's songbook, Egerton will reportedly be called upon to play the part across a variety of ages. According to Deadline, the movie will cover "the course of a most iconic life," from John's early days through his rise to worldwide fame, and present "an unvarnished rock ‘n’ roll biopic with John’s life stripped back of the glitter."
UPDATE: On Sept. 29, the movie's official Twitter account posted its first two tweets: one with the logo and the other with a still of Egerton in the starring role, calling the film "an epic musical fantasy about the uncensored human story of Sir Elton John’s breakthrough years." Rocketman is expected to be released in the summer of 2019.