Legendary singer-songwriter Elton John is getting his own ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ treatment this year with ‘Rocketman,’ which just premiered at the Cannes Film Festival. The biopic, starring Taron Egerton of “Kingsman” and “Sing!”-fame as the music icon, depicts the early stages of John’s career, complete with all the flamboyant costumery and his downward spiral into alcohol addiction and substance abuse. It’s also a jukebox musical featuring some of his greatest hits, including Your Song, Tiny Dancer, and of course, the titular track.
Showing as an out-of-competition piece at Cannes’ Palais’ Grand Theatre Lumiere, the film and its cast and crew received a staggering four-minute standing ovation after it ended. The visceral reaction led to both Egerton and John, who was also the executive producer of the film, to tear up as the audience cheered them on in the theater. “We’re absolutely blown away by your fantastic reception.” shared the film’s director, Dexter Fletcher.
Other stars in the film include Jamie Bell, who portrays John’s long-time songwriting collaborator Bernie Taupin (who also attended the premiere), Richard Madden as John Reid, the singer’s former manager and lover, and Bryce Dallas-Howard as Sheila Farebrother, John’s cold and distant mother. The film also delves into the icon’s tumultuous relationships with these key figures in his life, from the platonic love and collaborative story between him and Taupin—which continues to this day—to his love-hate relations with former manager Reid and mother Farebrother. Madden and Dallas-Howard were all also in attendance during the screening.
The crowd then joined the cast and crew to an after-party wherein Egerton and John performed a surprise live duet of the titular track. “This has been a very emotional night for me … Even if the movie doesn’t make one penny at the box office, which will kill Jim Gianopulos, it is the movie I wanted to make.” the iconic singer confessed.
‘Rocketman’ is set to premiere in the UK on May 22, 2019, and in US theaters and worldwide by May 31, 2019.