When is Rocketman released in cinemas? Who’s in the cast? What happens?

Who plays Elton John? Can they actually sing? Everything you need to know about biopic

Elton John biopic rocketman

With a career spanning almost six decades, Reginald Dwight, otherwise known as Sir Elton John, is now getting his own biopic, Rocketman.

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And there’s every chance it could reach the heights of the Oscar-winning Bohemian Rhapsody, with Dexter Fletcher, the director of the Queen film, once again at the helm.

But when will Rocketman actually land on screens? And who’s in the cast? Here’s everything you need to know.

When is Rocketman in UK cinemas?

The movie is released in cinemas in the UK on 24th May and 31st May in the US.

Who plays Elton John in Rocketman?

Taron Egerton, an actor you’ll probably recognise from the Kingsman films and Eddie the Eagle. Tom Hardy was originally tapped to play the role before Egerton replaced him in July 2017 – a decision that paid off as the 29-year-old has won rave reviews for the role and is generating some early Oscar buzz.

How much does Taron Egerton look like Elton John?

Although less so in real life, the makeup team has done an excellent job to make Egerton look like a young John, judging by the trailer.

elton-john
Getty, trailer youtube

Can Taron Egerton actually sing?

Yes, and we’ve actually heard him sing an Elton John classic before. In 2016, Egerton was part of the voice cast of animated movie Sing, where his character, Johnny the monkey, performed I’m Still Standing.

And he also performed with the actual Elton John at John’s AIDS Foundation Academy Awards Viewing Party.

It’s definitely worth watching, if only to see John looking at Egerton like a proud mother.

Who else is in the cast of Rocketman?

Billy Elliot star Jamie Bell will play songwriting partner Bernie Taupin, while Jurassic World’s Bryce Dallas Howard will play Sheila Eileen, John’s mother and Steven Mackintosh portrays his distant father.

Game of Thrones and Bodyguard actor Richard Madden has been cast as Elton’s manager and lover John Reid, with whom he had a tempestuous relationship, with Stephen Graham playing record label boss Dick Jones.

Gemma Jones (Bridget Jones’s Diary) is also set to appear as Elton’s supportive grandmother, while The OC’s Tate Donovan plays Troubadour owner Doug Weston and Charlie Rowe portrays Elton’s manager, Ray Williams.

Oh, and Keith Lemon has a brief – and rather distracting – cameo as a shop assistant. 

Keith Lemon on Instagram
Keith Lemon on Instagram

What is Rocketman about?

Rather than focus on all of John’s career, the film will focus on the music legend as he prepares to release his 1972 breakthrough album. It’s this record that featured the standout hit Rocket Man.

Interestingly, the film will have an 18 rating in the UK, with its official synopsis promising an “uncensored human story” behind the artist’s young years.

Is there a trailer for Rocketman?

There is indeed. As you’d expect, it features plenty of singing – and massive sunglasses.

Has Rocketman had good reviews?

Generally — yes! The film received a huge standing ovation when it premiered at Cannes Film Festival, moving Taron Egerton (and then the majority of social media) to tears.

While most critics haven’t awarded the film full marks, they’ve heaped praise on the film’s musical numbers, cinematography, and Egerton’s performance.

The Hollywood Reporter called the “unconventional” movie “a spectacular launch, all engines blazing,” before adding: “It’s largely to the credit of star Taron Egerton, who leans fearlessly into the role’s wild excesses, that the movie remains airborne.”

The Telegraph meanwhile called Dexter Fletcher’s “fabulous Elton John musical… a heart-racing, toe-tapping, all-glitter-cannons-blazing triumph”.

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However, The Guardian criticised the film’s “by-the-numbers approach”, stating: “Taron Egerton gamely does a middleweight impersonation, more comfortable with the lighter side: better at the tiaras than the tantrums”.