When Taron Egerton went into the studio to record the soundtrack for the upcoming Elton John biopic Rocketman, not only did he have John’s permission to do so, but he also had some of the highest possible praise from the pop star, whose own Rocket Pictures is a producer on the film. In a new behind-the-scenes look at the making of the movie, Egerton performs “Tiny Dancer”—doing an uncanny impression of John’s unique voice but, sadly, not wearing one of his sparkly jumpsuits—as he and the filmmakers discuss their approach to portraying the iconic musician’s prolific career.
“The thing about playing someone who is so beloved—all we can do is give our heartfelt interpretation of his life and his music,” Egerton says, as Giles Martin, the film’s music producer, confirms that, in fact, John gave the production his blessing for them to create that very interpretation. “Elton said, ‘I don’t think I’ve heard anyone sing my songs better than Taron,'” Martin says. “The great thing about Elton is that he wants Taron’s interpretations of his songs.”
The new Rocketman preview also gives a few more looks at the film’s stars than were seen in its first teaser trailer, released last fall. Besides Egerton in an enviable array of John’s signature bedazzled ensembles and oversized sunglasses, there’s also Jamie Bell as John’s longtime collaborator Bernie Taupin, Richard Madden as John’s lover and manager John Reid, and Bryce Dallas Howard as his mother Sheila Eileen Dwight.
Hear Egerton-as-Elton’s impressive vocals, below:
Rocketman, which is scheduled to be released in the U.S. on May 31, is directed by Dexter Fletcher, whose last credit saw him replacing disgraced director Bryan Singer during the final two weeks of filming another U.K.-based music biopic, Bohemian Rhapsody. The film is described as being “based on a true fantasy,” and in a May 2018 interview, Egerton explained, “Everyone thinks it’s a biopic. It isn’t. It’s a fantasy musical, so it’s actually his songs used to express important beats in his life at emotional moments.”