Elton John‘s life, music, and now the musical biopic about his journey are filled with rousing highs and crushing lows. Rocketman doesn’t fast-forward through the rough patches and consequences to get the good times, either. It’s the real-deal warts and all biopic that depicts John as an extraordinary musician but also as a deeply human and wounded man. That sounds familiar, yes, but it’s a contrast depicted without aggrandizing and with an immersive intimacy sorely missing in too many music biopics.
Responsible for some of the hard times in the story is John’s mother, Sheila Eileen Dwight, played by Bryce Dallas Howard. In the movie, no amount of success, acclaim, and money soften any the emotional blows John takes from her. It’s a cruel character that, like the film as a whole, Howard doesn’t attempt to sugarcoat. She is like a bulldozer in this movie, just crashing through the fantasy and dragging John back down to earth.
John turned a lot of that pain from his relationship with his parents into beautiful art, a common occurrence that’s both inspiring and, especially to Howard, saddening. We recently spoke with Howard about John’s relationship with his mother, the healthiest motivator for an artist, and what it took to play Elton John’s mother.
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Rock superstar Elton John began developing Rocketman, the musical fantasy biopic about his own life, all the way back in 2011. And while the movie is finally poised to hit theaters in just a few days, it had its fair share of obstacles to overcome: namely, that studios initially wanted to tone down the sex and drugs in the story and to strip the movie of its fantasy elements. Thankfully, neither of those wishes came true.
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The tile caption for Dexter Fletcher’s Rocketman is clear enough – “Taron Egerton is Elton John”. It’s a simple caption, indicating a performer who’s focused on bringing a role to life. The same of course could be said about Reginald Dwight, that slightly portly kid from England with an ear for music who had to reinvent himself decade after decade, inhabiting his larger-than-life persona as he conquered the world.
For many, the decades-long career of Sir Elton is easy enough to take for granted, but in the ’70s, particularly in the U.S., he was preposterously successful, claiming some 5% of the total global musical revenue. He made a fortune for himself and those around him, all while struggling with his own demons that can be traced to his childhood.
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More often than not, when an actor takes on the role of an iconic singer, they lip-sync rather than belting out the tunes themselves. Not Taron Egerton, though. The Kingsman actor is portraying Elton John in the movie Rocketman, and rather than have John’s famous voice dubbed in, Egerton does all the singing himself. And he sounds great! Does he sound like Elton John? Not really. But his voice is just similar enough to work. A new Rocketman music video has Egerton performing the Elton John song “Rocket Man” below.
Rocketman isn’t slated to hit theaters until the end of May, but if you’re a member of the free-to-join rewards program Fandango VIP, the movie ticket service will let you see the musical Elton John biopic a couple weeks early through their Early Access Screening program. Find out more about the Rocketman early screenings below. Read More »
The Morning Watch is a recurring feature that highlights a handful of noteworthy videos from around the web. They could be video essays, fanmade productions, featurettes, short films, hilarious sketches, or just anything that has to do with our favorite movies and TV shows.
In this edition, the cast of Saturday Night Live talks about their favorite Adam Sandler sketches before the comedian returns to the show as host. Plus, a Hollywood screenwriter takes a crack at writing a scene in just seven minutes, and the cast of Rocketman takes a look back at the iconic style of Elton John. Read More »
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. Read More »
If Rami Malek won an Oscar largely for lip synching as Queen frontman Freddie Mercury, that should mean Hollywood is going to award Taron Egerton with an Oscar in the upcoming Elton John biopic Rocketman for actually singing…right?
Egerton took the stage with the legendary musician to sing “Tiny Dancer,” and the timing of this performance strikes me as interesting: as Malek picked up his trophy on the Oscar stage, Egerton was belting out a tune and potentially kicking off a possible Best Actor campaign for next year’s Oscars. This is very possibly a case of accidental shade, but the timing was amusing nonetheless.
Keep reading to see Egerton rock out with Elton John in the new video. Read More »
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Hollywood can’t get enough of musical biopics, but Rocketman is attempting to set itself apart from all the others. The Elton John biopic is shooting for the stars by presenting itself as a “musical fantasy” film rather than a straightforward biographical drama. This means more trippy imagery and fantasy sequences galore in the latest Rocketman trailer.
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Hollywood can’t say no to a musical biopic. They’re usually hits, and more often than not, they score Oscar noms – even if they’re not very good (cough cough Bohemian Rhapsody cough cough). But the upcoming Rocketman, which tells the story of Elton John, might end up being a pleasant surprise. For one thing, it’s being sold as a “musical fantasy”, not a straightforward biopic. For another, it has Taron Egerton in the lead, and he’s actually singing – not just lip-synching. A new Rocketman featurette goes behind-the-scenes of the film, and showcases Egerton’s singing prowess.
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