Tom Hardy Confirmed to Play Elton John in ‘Rocketman’ Biopic

Published 2 years ago by

Tom Hardy to play Elton John Tom Hardy Confirmed to Play Elton John in Rocketman Biopic

Tom Hardy is an actor who definitely isn’t afraid of throwing himself wholly into his roles, bulking up to hugely muscular proportions as Bane in The Dark Knight Rises and Charles Bronson in Bronson, but also playing cooler-headed characters like Ricky Tamm in Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy and Eames in Inception. Although he has a considerable amount of range, Hardy nonetheless tends to be cast within a fairly set range of roles: fighters, spies and tough guys.

After a string of much-lauded roles in highly-praised movies (we’ll write This Means War off as a fluke), Hardy is at a point in his career where a lot of doors are probably open to him. He could easily make the choice to carry on taking roles that fit within his proven set of acting skills, but instead it seems that Hardy has elected to try something a bit new and very different to what he’s known for.

Deadline has confirmed that Tom Hardy is now signed on to play Elton John in the upcoming biopic Rocketman, which was scripted by Billy Elliott writer Lee Hall and has newcomer Michael Gracey set to direct. HitFix first broke the news that Hardy had been offered the role back in May, though prior to that there had been a long search for the right actor, with James McAvoy rumored to be in the mix. According to the press release, John will re-record a number of his greatest hits for Rocketman, “to parallel the emotional beats of the film.”

Tom Hardy poses as Bane Tom Hardy Confirmed to Play Elton John in Rocketman Biopic

This really is quite an inspired casting choice, largely because it’s such a long way from what people were probably expecting. The recent resounding critical success of Steven Soderbergh’s Behind the Candelabra, which starred Michael Douglas as Liberace and Matt Damon as his lover, Scott Thorson, has no doubt already laid the groundwork for more established male actors to take on roles as famously flamboyant performers. Case in point, The Devil’s Double star Dominic Cooper is also said to be circling a role as Freddy Mercury in an upcoming biopic (which is unfortunately going through some serious development troubles).

Hardy isn’t an exact physical match for John, but biopic casting really doesn’t need to be a lookalike contest. With the right haircut he’ll make a decent match for a young John, and it will be really fascinating to see his take on the role. This is definitely a biopic to look forward to, if for no other reason than it’s guaranteed a good soundtrack.


Rocketman is scheduled to shoot in fall 2014, which means that it could be out in theaters by late 2015.

Source: Deadline

Follow H. Shaw-Williams on Twitter @HSW3K
TAGS: Rocketman
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  1. Mind blown.

  2. Amazing.

    I wonder if Hardy will play him in a similar way to Star Stories did by turning Elton into a violent Cockney?

    Next up, a movie about Prince. I’d actually pay to see that too.

    • Yes, and Vin Diesel should be Prince. Because hey, “biopic casting really doesn’t need to be a lookalike contest.”

      • …In the sense that they should probably prioritise picking the best actor for the job instead of the one who looks most exactly like Elton John. Though I suppose they could always dump Hardy and go to a celebrity lookalike agency instead.

        For a biopic all they really need to do is find an actor who’s in the right ballpark, and the hair/costume/acting takes care of the rest.

        • Hardy can absolutely can and will be made to look like a young Elton.

          • Can the first can.

  3. Wait a second Hannah, you forgot Aaron Johnson as a young John Lennon in the brilliant Nowhere Boy.

  4. ‘Its you, your the Rocketman.’

    • At the Wal-Mart where I work, I have been known as the fastest cashier they have ever seen, both by the staff and by the customers, and it is quite a wide reputation as far as the store goes locally (we have been open to the public nearly 20 years). One of my nick-names is “Rocketman”, because I can work so quickly. Kind of funny, since the name was thrown around here in this article!

      • Awesome! lol

  5. justin timberlake looks almost exactly like a young elton john. hardy is a better actor though.

  6. Tom Hardy is a great actor, so yeah, I’m in for it.

  7. When one site said ‘an actor known for drastic character changes’ I honestly expected it to be Jared Leto! But Tom Hardy – WOO!

  8. Love to see actors take a challenge. Others should follow sjit ans take aomw risk. I hope he pulls it off.

  9. I’ll give this a watch. I grew up in high school in the 70s listening to Elton John, and still enjoy his music today!

  10. Very interesting casting decision. Tom Hardy is very talented so I’m sure he’ll give this all the dedication it deserves. I’m also really happy Elton John will be involved in some capacity, even if it is just re-recording some songs.

    I’m not so sure it was right to dedicate almost half the article to how it’s now ok for straight men to portray famous gay men. Liberace, Elton John, and Freddie Mercury aren’t famous just because they’re gay. During the height of Elvis’ career, Liberace was the most famous entertainer in the world, Elton John’s contributions to civil rights and his campaign against AIDS are immeasurable, and Freddie Mercury is easily one of the top 10 most iconic and inspirational musicians/vocalists of all time. Yes they’re flamboyant and that has added to their stage presence and art form but it’s not why biopics are made about them. I don’t think any of these actors would have passed up portraying these men before just because they were gay. Maybe i’m misreading that paragraph but it seems like you’re saying straight men playing famous gay men wouldn’t have been an acceptable career path a few years ago. Remember, all of these men became famous decades ago.

    • I think it was more a commentary that more known actors are taking roles that would’ve normally gone to little known actors in made for TV movies biopics.

      Historical figures have been played by famous actors in major motion pictures for decades but not musicians. That’s the difference.

      Thinking about it, I remember that biopic about Robin Williams that ended just after he filmed Popeye and while I never knew who that actor was playing Robin, he was amazing. Had the voice and mannerisms perfectly.

    • Liberace was never the most famous entertainer in the world.
      No entertainer ever reached the heights of Elvis Presley.

  11. “It doesn’t matter who we are. What matters is our…Rocket man, burning out his fuse up here alone!”

  12. Mistake….

  13. Tom Hardy is such a great actor that I’m sure he can pull this off, but it is strange to think the guy who portrayed Britain’s most violent prisoner will be playing Elton John as well.

    Cant give him too much crap regarding This Means War he said himself at the time he just wanted to do something lite after playing mostly serious roles.

    If anyone is in doubt of this guys range check out Stuart a Life Backwards where he plays a 9 stone alcoholic drug addict alongside Benny Cumberbatch.

    • Casting for shock value would be doing something like this:

      “We got Tom Hardy playing Elton John”

      “Brilliant actor but lets go the shock route and cast someone else instead. Hey, here’s an idea, how about we replace Hardy with French Stewart?”

      • Has nothing to do with Hardy’s acting ability, everything to do with his name. I love me some Tom Hardy, but come on…Elton John? Really? Casting for shock value actually goes something like this: “people know who Tom Hardy is, but no one would EVER expect him to be cast as Elton John. There are many other actors that would better fit the role, but Tom Hardy as Elton John is more jarring.”

        • Who would be better? How do you know who Tom Hardy is?* Why would no one expect him to be Elton? Why is it jarring?

          *Clearly not you as he took the role?

  14. “what a lovely, lovely voice”


  15. I am less sanguine about John re-recording songs, particularly the early ones.
    Vocally with songs, for example like Your Song, Elton better delivered the
    passion needed that has been missing in recent concert performances.

  16. I’m so not for Elton re-recording these songs. That is honestly the most daunting thing about this movie.

  17. I always thought Dominic Monaghan looked like a younger Elton John. After seeing him in Lost I definitely thought he could pull it off. Tom Hardy is more of a tough action hero/villain guy. He’s a big muscle man. He just doesn’t seem like the type of guy to play Elton John. Elton himself must have hand picked the actor to portray him.