Rocketman (film)

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Rocketman (film).png
Teaser poster
Directed byDexter Fletcher
Produced by
Written byLee Hall
Music byMatthew Margeson
CinematographyGeorge Richmond
Distributed byParamount Pictures
Release date
  • 16 May 2019 (2019-05-16) (Cannes)
  • 24 May 2019 (2019-05-24) (United Kingdom)
  • 31 May 2019 (2019-05-31) (United States)
Running time
155 minutes[1]
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
Budget$40 million[2]

Rocketman is an upcoming 2019 biographical musical drama film based on the life of musician Elton John. The film is directed by Dexter Fletcher and written by Lee Hall. It stars Taron Egerton as John, with Jamie Bell, Richard Madden, and Bryce Dallas Howard. The film follows John's early days as a prodigy at the Royal Academy of Music up to his eventual musical partnership with Bernie Taupin. The film is titled after John's 1972 song "Rocket Man".

An Elton John biopic was announced in January 2012, and went through several directors and actors, including Michael Gracey, Tom Hardy, and Elton's personal choice: Justin Timberlake. Egerton was ultimately cast as John in July 2017 and Fletcher signed on as director in April 2018. Principal photography began in August 2018.

Rocketman is set to premiere at the Cannes Film Festival on 16 May 2019, and scheduled to be released in the United Kingdom on 22 May 2019 and in the United States on 31 May 2019 by Paramount Pictures.


The film tells the story of Elton John's life, from his years as a prodigy at the Royal Academy of Music, through his influential and enduring musical partnership with Bernie Taupin,[3] as well as his struggles with depression, substance abuse, and acceptance of his sexual orientation.




It was announced in January 2012 that Elton John was developing a biopic about himself, and had named Justin Timberlake as his top choice to play him in the film. Lee Hall was set to pen the screenplay.[4] In March 2013, Michael Gracey was hired to direct, with Tom Hardy cast in October to play John and Focus Features acquiring the U.S. distribution rights. Filming was initially planned to start in Autumn 2014.[5][6]

No further development on the film was announced until July 2017, when it was announced Hardy was no longer involved with the project, and Taron Egerton entered negotiations to replace him.[7] Dexter Fletcher, who had replaced Bryan Singer during the production of the Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, replaced Gracey as director with Paramount Pictures now in possession of distribution rights. It was reported that Egerton would sing the songs in the film himself produced by Giles Martin who was by then brought on as music director for the project.[8] In an interview at CinemaCon, Egerton stated the film would be more of a fantasy-musical as opposed to a straightforward biopic.[9][10]


In April 2018, Taron Egerton was officially cast to play the musician in the film. Egerton had previously appeared with John in the 2017 film Kingsman: The Golden Circle, and Egerton, as Johnny the Gorilla, sang John's song "I'm Still Standing" in the animated film Sing. In June, the role of Bernie Taupin was given to Jamie Bell.[11] In July, Richard Madden entered negotiations to play John Reid, and Bryce Dallas Howard was cast to play John's mother.[12][13] Gemma Jones was announced as being cast in the film in October.[14]


Production commenced on 2 August 2018.[15] Also in October 2018, it was announced the film was shooting in London.[16] Filming commenced at Bray Film Studios near Maidenhead, Berkshire.[17]


It will have its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival on 16 May 2019.[18] It is to be released in the United Kingdom on 22 May 2019.[19] The film was initially scheduled to be released in the United States on 17 May 2019, but was pushed back to 31 May 2019.[20]


  1. ^ "Rocketman".
  2. ^ Keegan, Rebecca (22 March 2019). "Elton John Biopic 'Rocketman' Expected to Get R-Rating for Sex, Drug Scenes". The Hollywood Reporter.
  3. ^
  4. ^ Nededog, Jethro (2 January 2012). "Justin Timberlake is Elton John's No. 1 Choice to Play Him in Biopic". The Hollywood Reporter.
  5. ^ Jr, Mike Fleming (18 March 2013). "Commercials Director Michael Gracey To Helm Musical Bio Film On Elton John". Deadline Hollywood.
  6. ^ McNary, Dave (23 October 2013). "Tom Hardy to Play Elton John in Biopic". Variety.
  7. ^ "The Elton John Biopic Has Swapped Tom Hardy For A Rising Star". 21 July 2017.
  8. ^ Jr, Mike Fleming (19 April 2018). "Paramount Greenlighting 'Rocketman'; Taron Egerton To Sing Elton John's Songs".
  9. ^ "Taron Egerton Says 'Rocketman' is a "Fantasy Musical," Not a Biopic". Collider. 2 May 2018.
  10. ^ "Elton John Biopic 'Rocketman' Sets Summer 2019 Release Date". TheWrap. 23 May 2018.
  11. ^ Kroll, Justin (20 June 2018). "Jamie Bell in Talks to Play Bernie Taupin in Elton John Biopic 'Rocketman' (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved 21 June 2018.
  12. ^ Kroll, Justin (19 July 2018). "'Game of Thrones' Actor Richard Madden to Play Elton John's Manager in 'Rocketman' (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety.
  13. ^ Kroll, Justin (26 July 2018). "Bryce Dallas Howard to Play Elton John's Mom in Biopic 'Rocketman' (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety.
  14. ^ Jr, Mike Fleming (1 October 2018). "'Rocketman' Trailer: Watch Taron Egerton Take Flight As Elton John In Concert". Deadline.
  15. ^ "Dexter Fletcher on Twitter".
  16. ^ "London Now Filming: Elton John Biopic 'Rocketman' Starring Taron Egerton". 2 October 2018.
  17. ^ Cameras rolling once again at Bray Studios Thursday 10 May 2018
  18. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (12 April 2019). "Elton John Biopic 'Rocketman' To Officially Blast Off At The Cannes Film Festival". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 12 April 2019.
  19. ^ ROCKETMAN: IN CINEMAS MAY 22, 2019 | Paramount Pictures UK
  20. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (23 August 2018). "'Rocketman': Elton John Biopic Moves Back Two Weeks". Deadline.

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