Long before Taron Eagerton was finalised to play Elton John in his biopic "Rocketman", the music icon considered Justin Timberlake for the role originally. John and producer husband David Furnish had the former 'Nsync band member in mind after he featured in the 2001 music video "This Train Don't Stop There Anymore" as the man of the moment. "But we never formerly approached Justin because we weren't ever at a stage where it was the right time to approach him. But he did an amazing job in the video. He put on a prosthetic nose, and it turned out to have been some really interesting acting work as well," Furnish told The Hollywood Reporter.
The film, directed by Dexter Fletcher and produced by Furnish, received favourable reviews at its world premiere at the recently concluded Cannes Film Festival.
Tom Hardy too almost starred in "Rocketman" but John appeared to throw a shade at the "Venom" star. "Taron Egerton came onboard this film because somebody else dropped out," he told the crowd at the film's Cannes afterparty, adding that Eagerton's "performance in this film is scary brilliant... When I watch the movie, I don't see an actor, I see myself."
The biopic, which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival, is en route to becoming one of the ground-breaking movies in regards to the LGBT community. The biopic is the first film made by a major studio to feature a male gay sex scene! The Paramount will feature explicit love-making between Taron Egerton (Elton John) and Bodyguard actor, Richard Madden who plays his lover, the music manager John Reid.
Egerton, 29, told The Hollywood Reporter, "Everyone is obsessed with it. ... For me, kissing a man onscreen is no less appealing than kissing a woman onscreen.
"I'm not in any way repulsed by the male form. It's an uncomfortable thing regardless of who you're with - it makes no difference as to your sexual preference."
"I've approached it wholeheartedly and I hope that for that reason people accept me [as Elton]. The LGBTQ community has always been about inclusiveness, hasn't it? Not about, 'We're here. You're there.' In fact, if you want to come in, come on in’’ he added, when speaking to VT.
While Rocket isn’t exactly the first time to show gay sex scenes as we have seen in Jake Gyllenhaal and the late Heath Ledger in Luca Guadagnino’s Or Call My by Your Name, they were both released by smaller off-shoots of major studios and given limited releases. Rocketman, on the other hand is aimed at the wider audience and expected to rake in millions at the box office.
Rocketman is based on the life of singer, pianist and composer Elton John, inarguably one of the best-selling music artists. Directed by Dexter Fletcher, Rocketman and also stars Jamie Bell and Bryce Dallas Howard.