It’s official, per Deadline: Kingsman star Taron Egerton is set to play Elton John in an upcoming musical biopic from Paramount Pictures.
Egerton actually announced his involvement in the project n September in an interview on The Jonathan Ross Show, but the film — titled Rocketman, after one of John’s signature tunes — received the official green light from Paramount. The movie will cover John’s (birth name: Reginald Kenneth Dwight) rapid ascent from a prodigy at Britain’s Royal Academy of Music to a global phenomenon, charting his partnership with songwriter Bernie Taupin, who penned many of Elton’s biggest hits.
Apparently, the movie — which has been in the works for a long time — might not be a family-friendly affair, as Egerton told Ross: “As far as I’m aware, the plan is that it will be the world’s first R-rated musical. … It’s going to be very unabashed in its depiction of him, I think.”
Meanwhile, Egerton has some serious musical chops, as evidenced by his ultra-catchy cover of John’s I’m Still Standing, from the 2016 animated musical Sing, in which Taron portrayed a golden-voiced gorilla. According to the Deadline article, “everyone who has heard [Egerton] has been gobsmacked” by his singing prowess and the similarities between his voice and John’s.
It remains to be seen whether his piano skills can match the legend himself, but we’re betting they’ve got to be pretty good to have snagged the role in the first place. John appeared in a substantial role alongside Egerton in Kingsman: The Golden Circle, which released last September. Egerton’s other upcoming roles include Billionaire Boys Club and the lead in Lionsgate’s Robin Hood.
The film’s script was written by Lee Hall. John is producing via Matthew Vaughn’s Marv Films and David Furnish’s (John’s husband) Rocket Pictures. Vaughn has worked with both Egerton and director David Fletcher before; Vaughn actually directed both Kingsman films and produced Eddie The Eagle (which Fletcher directed), and the two worked together on the 1998 Guy Ritchie flick Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels. Fletcher recently got the call to replace Bryan Singer as director of Bohemian Rhapsody, the upcoming Freddie Mercury film starring Rami Malek (Mr. Robot).