With anticipation riding high for Rami Malek to rock you as Freddie Mercury in the upcoming Bohemian Rhapsody, it’s easy to forget that there’s also been another long-gestating biopic of another musical icon in the works. That would be Rocketman, the story of Elton John’s rise to superstardom in the 1970s, both during and after his stint at the Royal Academy of Music in London. And instead of starring Tom Hardy as first planned, the film’s teaser trailer now reveals Taron Egerton (Kingsman) in full regalia while carrying Elton’s signature flamboyant costumery well. Yet those jackets, those sunglasses, and those winged boots all take a glittery backseat for those who wonder if the film can properly translate the subject matter’s magical factor, along with that voice.
The loss of Hardy’s star power will undoubtedly have an effect on the film’s anticipation factor, but Egerton (Kingsman) has made quite a point of his excitement to sing Elton’s songs himself while playing this role, and he appears to have closely replicated those tones, whereas Hardy previously dropped out after reportedly struggling with the actual singing part of the role, Director Dexter Fletcher also (who replaced Bryan Singer as director on Bohemian Rhapsody, although Singer will still get the credit) accepted the difficult job of helming a biopic for a subject who’s not only still alive but well-known for his scrupulous taste. Not an easy feat.
Speaking of which, John and his husband, David Furnish, are both on board as producers. The film also stars Jamie Bell, Richard Madden, Gemma Jones, and Bryce Dallas Howard. Rocketman will land in theaters on May 31, 2019.