'Rocketman' Footage Reaction: The Fantastical Musical Biopic That Elton John Deserves [CinemaCon 2019]

Following the success of Bohemian Rhapsody last year (and during awards season), Paramount Pictures is looking to have a hit themselves by telling the life story of one of rock's biggest stars: Elton John.

Rocketman stars Kingsman: The Secret Service star Taron Egerton as the legendary singer of songs like "Tiny Dancer," "Crocodile Rock," and of course "Rocketman." The film follows his trajectory from a young kid being classically trained in piano to one of the most flamboyant, glamorous and entertaining singers in the history of rock and roll. /Film's own Ben Pearson and Peter Sciretta were on hand at CinemaCon to see some new Rocketman footage, and we're happy to hear that this looks outstanding.

As the trailers have indicated, this isn't a traditional biopic. Sure, it will tell the story of how Elton John grew up to become the singer we all known and love today, but it's giving his life a fantastical, musical makeover, complete with full fledged song and dance numbers featuring the music of Elton John.

The footage started off showing Elton John as a young boy, taking piano lessons and going to the Royal Music Academy. But he's had enough of this classical piano nonsense. He wants to rock, and rock he does.

Even though full musical sequences weren't fully highlighted, quick snippets of them were shown, including one that takes place at a fair in the midst of all the games and rides. Plenty of extras are dancing in sync. But Peter noted that (at least in the context of the footage) these musical sequences don't seem like they will be as abundant as they are in major movie musicals. Instead, they may only be accents to the story. But at the same time, that might just be because it's hard to show off those kind of sequences in the quick cut style of a movie trailer.

Otherwise, the footage showed the familiar music biopic beats, such as the changing of our hero's name from Reginald White to Elton John, and record executives not being impressed until they come around to his talent. We also see John gaining the wild stage persona he's famous for, with all the glitzy and elaborate costumes.

In one scene, Elton John lands a huge gig at the famous Troubadour in Los Angeles, and he's nervous as hell because there are a bunch of famous musicians in the crowd. The sequence features an incredible rendition of "Crocodile Rock," one where John does a jazzy, slow intro to the song before really jamming out on his piano and blowing the crowd away.

The footage hit more familiar biopic tropes: playing in front of huge stadium crowds, dealing with the weight of fame, plenty of dramatic moments brought on by this huge career, etc. Peter said it had the vibe of a superhero origin story, mostly because of the fantastical touches that the musical sequences bring, which Ben said were truly awesome. It's a movie that looks as bold as Elton John himself.

This is why we're glad Rocketman ended up making our list of the most anticipated movies of 2019. If you need anymore convincing, be sure to watch the most recently released trailer.

Rocketman is directed by Dexter Fletcher and also stars Jamie Bell, Richard Madden and Bryce Dallas Howard. The film will be rocking theaters this summer starting on May 31, 2019.