Paramount Pictures debuted another extended look at its Elton John biopic “Rocketman,” which looks at John’s childhood, how he became a songwriter and then eventually became one of the biggest musicians in the world, at the studio’s presentation at CinemaCon.
“I don’t want to just play dead people’s music,” Taron Egerton’s Elton said in the trailer before he started writing lyrics and music to his famous hits. Then, his agents sent him to perform at The Troubadour, one of the most famous music venues in Los Angeles. He had a rough start, until he started playing “Crocodile Rock” on the grand piano.
“I predict you can be the best-selling artist in America if you desire,” Richard Madden’s character told John. At the end of the footage, the audiences witnessed John’s struggles with his newfound career, relationships and drug use.
Paramount chairman Jim Gianopulos introduced the film after dancers took the stage, talking about the famous musician and his great accomplishments in his decades-long career. Then, Egerton and director Dexter Fletcher hit the stage to talk about the film. Fletcher talked about the biggest challenges of bringing the iconic John to the screen, and promised an “honest and truthful portrayal of this great man.”
Fletcher also said the two musical numbers “Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting” and “Rocket Man” are sights to be seen. Egerton said he hopes to give audiences a glimpse of John who has “had a notoriously turbulent time.”
Egerton also explained that John has been “remarkably hands-off” during the production of the film and that John wanted them to have free rein on his character.
Directed by Fletcher, who replaced Bryan Singer as director of “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “Rocketman” follows John’s unique path to stardom. Jamie Bell, Madden, and Bryce Dallas Howard also star.
The biopic will face heavier competition than “Bohemian Rhapsody” late last year but will try to find success among Elton John fans the way “Rhapsody” did with Queen fans. The film won four Oscars and grossed $890 million worldwide, sixth-highest among all films in 2018.
“Rocketman” hits theaters May 31.