The biopic has landed.
“Rocketman” premiered Thursday night at the Cannes Film Festival — and Elton John performed an emotional duet with the actor who channels him onscreen to celebrate the occasion.
John, 72, and Taron Egerton, 29, sang the title track together with the pop icon accompanying on piano. At the end, Egerton came around the piano to hug John, and was teary eyed as the audience rose for a standing ovation.
Egerton wasn’t the only emotional one. The internet is blasting off with reactions to the film.
“I was quite overwhelmed and thrilled,” co-star Richard Madden tells IndieWire. “It was one electric evening.”
“Kinda can’t believe this really just happened but @eltonofficial performed “Rocketman” with @TaronEgerton on beach in #Cannes after world premiere,” tweets Hollywood Reporter’s Chris Gardner.
“Rocketman” — which is receiving positive early reviews — also features a new song recorded by John and Egerton called “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again,” a clip of which John tweeted out.
Director Dexter Fletcher compares the film to his Queen biopic, “Bohemian Rhapsody,” but says he’s more invested in “Rocketman” — because it’s R-rating keeps it more honest.
After the Cannes screening, John and his legendary songwriter, Bernie Taupin (played by Jamie Bell in the film) took to the stage to address the public.
“To be honest with you, I was blown away. I was very moved — I cried the first time I saw it,” John says, praising Egerton’s performance. “Not only did he have to perform my life but he had to sing my life and that’s a double whammy.”
The music legend’s husband — who produced “Rocketman” — has also shared his thoughts on the final product.
“Elton John is somebody that I think I know incredibly well, but then also it’s like watching a film about somebody you don’t know at all,” says David Furnish, who’s been with John for 26 years. “… Many times as I watched the film, I wanted to go and give him a hug, like I could help him. I thought, ‘God, you’ve been through a lot.’”
Time will tell if that investment translates to the same numbers as “Rhapsody,” which was the most successful musical biopic of all time at the box office, grossing nearly $1 billion globally, not to mention winning four Oscars. This is not a concern to John, though.
“Even if the movie doesn’t make one penny — which will kill Jim Gianopulos — it is the movie I wanted to make, and that doesn’t happen often,” John said Thursday, referring to Paramount Pictures’ chairman, Deadline reports.
“Rocketman” will debut nationwide May 31.
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