Paramount Pictures has unveiled the first photo of Taron Egerton as rock and roll legend Elton John in the musical fantasy Rocketman. Egerton's big screen career blasted off in spectacular fashion in 2014 when the relative newcomer landed the prize role of superspy in training Gary "Eggsy" Unwin opposite Colin Firth in the hit action adventure Kingsman: The Secret Service, which was successful enough to merit a sequel with Kingsman: The Golden Circle.
Other opportunities followed for Egerton after the first Kingsman, including Sing - the 2016 animated, jukebox musical where he voiced a gorilla named Johnny and gave a knock-out performance of Elton John's comeback anthem "I'm Still Standing." Egerton's cover of the 1983 classic apparently all but sealed his destiny to play the younger version of the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, and Dexter Fletcher, who directed the actor in ski jumper Eddie Edwards' biopic Eddie the Eagle, cast him in the lead in Rocketman.
Related: Rocketman Set for May 2019 Release
Now, just days before the release of the film's first trailer, Paramount has released its first look as Egerton in Rocketman. It's a solo shot of the singer circa the 1970s, where the musician appears to be aboard a private jet, sitting in a casual pose and wearing a gold-colored silk jacket and shorts, as well as some gold, platform-heeled tennis shoes. Egerton's John is also wearing one of the singer's thousands of pairs of sequined glasses (a popular prop for the singer-songwriter-pianist at the time), and is sporting a shorter, hairstyle. John went bald relatively early in his career, and the photo depicts the singer just as his hairline started to recede.
It will be interesting to see how much of John's real-life ends up in Rocketman, since the Paramount description of the film - an "epic musical fantasy about the uncensored human story of Sir Elton John’s breakthrough years" - seems to match up with Egerton's early observations about the film as being a "a fantasy musical, so it’s actually his songs used to express important beats in his life at emotional moments." Fans should get a sense of what to expect when the film's first trailer rolls out, which Paramount said on Friday will be October 1.
For now, at least, fans should be able to take comfort in knowing they have a dynamic actor in Egerton to play the pivotal title role, as well as Jamie Bell as John's legendary lyricist Bernie Taupin, Bryce Dallas Howard as John's mother and Richard Madden as John Reid - the performer's former longtime manager.
Better yet, Fletcher is hot off what appears to be big winner - at least judging by the film's first two trailers - with the Freddie Mercury/Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody. With any luck, Fletcher will bring that same sort of atmosphere and style to Rocketman when the film soars into theaters, and this first-look photo is a pretty good indication that he will.
Source: Paramount Pictures
- Rocketman (2019) release date: May 31, 2019