Music lovers have recently embraced the spirit of champions with the Queen-centric biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, but now it's time for the gift of "Your Song" and insight into the life of superstar Elton John. Peeks of Taron Egerton in the Rocketman's dazzling costumes have already hit the internet, but the Rocketman trailer offers deeper glimpses into how the singer reached the status of a global icon. Do you have your electric boots ready for this?
Hitting theaters on May 31, Rocketman promises an immersive dive into the glitz and glam of John's fame, but the trailer also devotes plenty of time to his humble beginnings. Growing up with the name Reginald Dwight, the aspiring English musician eventually receives advice to "kill the person you were born to be" and embrace the truth about who he wants to be. Adopting the name Elton John, the songman leans toward flashy costumes and staging choices as his star is on the rise.
As his profile grows throughout the 1970s, the trailer teases John's initial secrecy about his sexuality and his struggles with addiction. The importance of his relationships with his first manager, John Reid (Richard Madden), and longtime collaborator Bernie Taupin (Jamie Bell) is also seen, while Bryce Dallas Howard appears as John's mother Sheila. The snippets of Elton John music heard throughout the trailer are also performed by Egerton, already giving his work an extra dose of credibility.
With his own company Rocket Pictures overseeing the production of the film, Elton John granted Egerton permission to re-record some of his music for the movie. Ahead of the full trailer's premiere, Paramount Pictures UK released a sneak peek of Egerton singing John's "Tiny Dancer" in a recording studio. In the video, music producer Giles Martin reveals, "Elton said, 'I don't think I've heard anyone sing my songs better than Taron.' The great thing about Elton is that he wants Taron's interpretation of his songs."
Featuring excerpts of Egerton's "Your Song" and "Benny and the Jets," the trailer also hints at having the full-blown musical numbers Elton John fans are probably craving. Several scenes in the promo appear to show large groups performing choreographed routines both onstage and off, so we can only hope that Elton John's trademark extravagance shines through in all aspects of this movie. Egerton has even labeled the project as a "fantasy musical" rather than a biopic, so I'm ready for a mashup of whimsy and reality.
Besides arriving soon after the similarly formatted Bohemian Rhapsody, Rocketman may remind you of the Freddie Mercury story in a few ways. Both are directed by Dexter Fletcher, who took over the reins of Bohemian Rhapsody when its original director Bryan Singer was fired. Madden's character, John Reid, also briefly managed Queen, and actor Aiden Gillen appeared as him in Bohemian Rhapsody. I don't think we can count on a Rami Malek cameo, but maybe Egerton's John makes a reference to his rock-and-roll contemporaries in Rocketman.
In his "Tiny Dancer" video, Egerton called Rocketman "the greatest joy of [his] professional life." That's quite the endorsement, so here's to taking the Yellow Brick Road straight to see Rocketman in a few months.
Rocketman is in theaters on Friday, May 31.