| He was like a father, he gave us an opportunity to learn our craft. The film follows John in his early days in England as a prodigy at the Royal Academy of Music through his musical partnership with Taupin, and is titled after John's 1972 song "Rocket Man". , The depiction of Dick James was disputed by musician Caleb Quaye, who was a member of Elton's former band Bluesology. star in the role of Doug Weston, owner of the famed Troubadour club. Rocketman was co-produced by Elton John's husband David Furnish and exec produced by Elton himself. She had no idea," says Donovan, who was flattered. Sitemap When Elton slams down the phone on his mum, the dial tone is a recent British Telecom one, not the old 33Hz 'purr' that existed in the 1970s. All rights reserved. It went on to debut to $25.7 million, finishing third, behind Godzilla: King of the Monsters and Aladdin. As Rocketman would have you believe, Elton John was discovered by more than just Los Angeles music aficionados during his first career-making performance at Doug Weston 's The Troubadour in 1970. , In October 2019, Entertainment Weekly digital director Shana Krochmal accused Delta Air Lines of removing "almost every reference" to John's sexuality in the version of the film shown on the airline, including scenes of kissing and gay sex. Do Not Sell My Personal Information. Queen and Elton John manager in Bohemian Rhapsody and Rocketman", "Who is Elton John's wife Renate Blauel and how long were they married?  John actually checked into rehab in 1990 at the Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Chicago a few months after a young friend, Ryan White, had died from AIDS, and after a visit to his boyfriend at the time, Hugh Williams, in a rehab facility in Prescott, Arizona. "I've never acted with a wig before, and now I never want to act without a wig. Dressed in a flamboyant devil's outfit, Elton John enters an addiction rehabilitation session, recounting his life in a flashback ("The Bitch Is Back"). , Rocketman grossed $96.4 million in the United States and Canada, and $98.8 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $195.2 million, against a production budget of $40 million. " The film was also banned in Egypt, where Elton John himself was banned from visiting back in 2010. Bryce Dallas Howard could be looking at Supporting Actress nods for her at turns bewitching and repulsive portrayal of Elton's domineering mother.  Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A−" on an A+ to F scale, while those at PostTrak gave it an average 4 out of 5 stars and a 69% "definite recommend". I don’t understand the fantasy of depicting him like that because he was nothing like it. “I never met Elton John,” he said, “but I felt like I knew Elton John after working five days with Taron.”, Working with this gem of a man and then sharing it last night with the love of my life and the best of friends was a blast # #❤️ Thanks @dexfletch @RocketMan @paramountpics, A post shared by Tate Donovan (@t8dono) on May 30, 2019 at 1:59pm PDT. Central Partnership, the film's Russian distributor, removed all scenes involving homosexuality and drugs, a move that was criticized by both John and Paramount.  For his performance, Egerton received numerous nominations, including the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role and Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role, and won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy. Even good friends didn't recognize the "The O.C." We can certainly count "Rocketman" as a solid rock biopic, and a bewitching jukebox musical to boot. It grossed $195 million worldwide against its $40 million budget and received positive reviews from critics, with praise for Egerton's performance, the costume design and musical numbers. However, he personally did not play a huge role in the making of the film. It might sound blasphemous to say that the tumultuous artistic and personal life of legendary superstar Elton John — he of the epic excess and bling, the spectacular stage presence and record-breaking albums, the iconoclastic and canonical songs of eternal longing — doesn’t provide enough dazzling material to make a good film into a great one. The earliest efforts dated back to the 2000s, when development started at Walt Disney Pictures. And I was like, 'I was in 'Rocketman.' Tate Donovan plays Doug Weston in Rocketman, the owner of nightclub The Troubadour in Los Angeles, California, which played an important role in making Elton's career a success. Elton catches Reid cheating on him and breaks off their relationship, but allows Reid to continue as his manager. Reginald develops an interest in rock music and performs in local pubs ("Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting"). Company Credits The soundtrack for the film was released by Virgin EMI (UK) and Interscope Records (US) on CD and digital formats on 24 May 2019 and was also released by Interscope Records on vinyl on August 23, 2019. For an enhanced browsing experience, get the IMDb app on your smartphone or tablet. I've started working out with a trainer," laughs Donovan. Reproduction of material from any Salon pages without written permission is strictly prohibited. French and Hall keep the story so tightly focused on Elton, so doggedly up-close and personal, that the film effectively shuts the rest of the world out, leaving so much unsaid about the culture and times that made him and unmade him before he got sober and took back his life and career in the ‘90s. As Elton's artistic collaborator and best friend Bernie Taupin, "Billy Elliott" alum Jamie Bell ("Donnybrook," "Fantastic Four") provides the grounding heart and soul of the film, while also functioning as a stand-in for the audience. James sets up a performance for them at the Troubadour in Los Angeles. " The Guardian's Peter Bradshaw gave the film three stars out of five, saying Egerton performed a "good impression of the flamboyant musician," and writing, "Rocketman is an honest, heartfelt tribute to Elton John's music and his public image. ".  They officially announced their divorce on 18 November 1988. The reason given was his "anti-religious sentiments", though Film Stories journalist Simon Brew argued that the ban "seemed pretty clear it was more to do with [John's] sexuality". Taron Egerton as Elton John in "Rocketman" (Paramount Pictures) ... Tate Donovan turns in a memorable bit as Troubadour Club owner and LA music impresario Doug Weston. A musical fantasy about the fantastical human story of Elton John's breakthrough years. Release Dates Directed by Dexter Fletcher and written by Lee Hall, it stars Taron Egerton as Elton John, with Jamie Bell as Bernie Taupin, Richard Madden as John Reid, and Bryce Dallas Howard as Sheila Eileen, John's mother. When Elton admits he is homosexual, he ends his romantic relationship with their landlady, and he and Bernie are evicted. John and Taupin also spent two years working as staff songwriters for Dick James, beginning in 1968, and created tracks for artists such as Roger Cook and Lulu, with the first album of the pair's music being 1969's Empty Sky. Enchanting even, when director Dexter French pulls off the stylistic flourishes that he and “Billy Elliott” screenwriter Lee Hall sprinkle liberally throughout the film. People couldn’t believe that was me. 45,371, This story has been shared 14,628 times.  In an interview at CinemaCon, Egerton stated the film would be more of a fantasy-musical as opposed to a straightforward biopic. He spoke his mind but encouraged us all, including Elton, to do what we were good at. " Dick's son, Stephen James (who helped discover Elton and encouraged Dick to sign him up to his music label DJM Records), also criticised the film's portrayal of his father, calling John "basically a coward" and claiming that he wanted to destroy "everybody who was helpful or good" during the early days of his career, adding, "I don't understand why he seems to feel the need to try to destroy everybody who helped him. Elton John and husband David Furnish tried to produce a film based on his life for almost two decades. "The only thing that was missing was the smell of spilled beer," says Donovan. Paramedic HeyUGuys Just before their debut performance, Elton hides in the bathroom and gets nervous when he hears that already established acts are performing before him, but Ray and Bernie make him go out to play. But there are acts that are not good for public viewing and against the law. We only ever tried to do the best for him and to promote his career. (uncredited), Mike Potts - John Reid's Interest Directed by Dexter Fletcher. While the Weston wig helped Donovan step into the real-life character, it has led to some incredulous reactions, even from friends. Your California Privacy Rights , In March 2019, it was reported that Paramount Pictures was pressuring director Dexter Fletcher and producer Matthew Vaughn to cut a sex scene between Taron Egerton and Richard Madden, so that the film could receive a PG-13 rating in the United States, as influenced by the financial success of Bohemian Rhapsody the year prior. Taron Egerton is seven years older than Charlie Rowe. Elton John Struggles to Read His Own Memoir in Outtake From Audiobook Recording. Ophelia Lovibond plays Elton's girlfriend Arabella, Rachel Muldoon appears as singer Kiki Dee, and Celinde Schoenmaker plays Elton's wife Renate. , Rocketman received a largely positive response from critics, with some calling it one of the best films released in 2019, as well as being considered the best reviewed musical movie of the year and one of the best reviewed British releases of the year, praising Egerton's acting and vocal performance, the costume design, soundtrack, and the musical sequences. "Rocketman" works with an embarrassment of riches, starting with the cast. Your Ad Choices The film had been in development since the 2000s before it was announced in 2013 that Focus Features acquired the rights to the film and director Michael Gracey and actor Tom Hardy were set to direct and star in the project respectively.  Linda revealed her disappointment for not being mentioned in the film. , Dick James was the one who encouraged then-Reggie Dwight to choose a stage name, and on 7 May 1972, he legally changed his name to Elton Hercules John; however, John is shown auditioning for James by playing "Daniel" and "I Guess That's Why They Call It the Blues", but the songs weren't written until 1972 and 1983, respectively. star in the role of Doug Weston, owner of the famed Troubadour club. , "I'm Still Standing" was not written while Elton John was in rehab, nor was the music video filmed after he had left: the song was recorded in 1982, and the song and the video were released a year later.. Less than a month before the wedding, John suddenly broke off their engagement on the advice of Long John Baldry. They basically depict my father in the film completely opposite to the way he was in real life. If you didn't recognize Tate Donovan in "Rocketman," don't feel so bad. , In the United Kingdom, it debuted to $6.4 million, finishing second behind fellow new release Aladdin. Rocketman grossed $96.4 million in the United States and Canada, and $98.8 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $195.2 million, against a production budget of $40 million.
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