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Trivia for Rocketman

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  • James McAvoy and Daniel Radcliffe were considered to play Elton John.
  • Tom Hardy was attached to star, and the film went into development for nearly three years. When Hardy's busy schedule conflicted, he dropped out of the lead role.
  • Elton John told Taron Egerton to not copy him too much in the film, and find his own version of the role.
  • Taron Egerton has always had a passion for singing as well as acting. He recorded songs for Eddie the Eagle (2015) and Sing (2016).
  • This is Taron Egerton's third movie featuring Elton John as a character or contributor. The first movie was Sing (2016) where Egerton sang Elton John's "I'm Still Standing." The second time, Elton John appeared in Egerton's Kingsman: The Golden Circle (2017). In this film, Egerton plays his own version of Elton John.
  • Jamie Bell played the lead role in Billy Elliot (2000). Elton John was a key figure in helping develop the stage musical based on the film.
  • Jamie Bell also starred in Billy Elliot (2000), written by screenwriter Lee Hall.
  • Marks Dexter Fletcher's second biographical movie about a music icon. Fletcher was assistant director on Bohemian Rhapsody (2018).
  • The second collaboration between Taron Egerton and Dexter Fletcher after Eddie the Eagle (2015).
  • Manager John Reid is portrayed in this film by Richard Madden. Madden's Game of Thrones (2011) co-star Aidan Gillen portrayed John Reid in Bohemian Rhapsody (2018).
  • Taron Egerton does all of his own singing in the film.
  • In 2012, Elton John revealed that his top choice to play him in a biopic was Justin Timberlake.
  • Prior to this film, Justin Timberlake was in talks to star in an Elton John biopic. Timberlake was hand-picked by Elton John to portray him in the music video for his single Elton John: This Train Don't Stop There Anymore (2001).
  • Originally supposed to be distributed by Focus Features & Universal Pictures.
  • The film is named after the 1972 song of the same name.
  • Rocket Pictures' first live-action film and second film from Paramount Pictures after Sherlock Gnomes (2018).
  • The film was released during Elton John's three-year retirement tour.
  • When Elton calls his mother to tell her he's gay, she and Fred are watching Liberace on television. Liberace was a flamboyant piano player whose homosexuality was widely suspected but never publicly acknowledged during his lifetime.
  • Steven Mackintosh (who plays Elton's father) and director Dexter Fletcher both acted in Guy Ritchie's crime comedy Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998), also produced by Matthew Vaughn, whose production company MARV was involved in the production of this film.
  • The exterior footage of early 1970s LA during the Troubadour club era was stock 35 mm footage that was digitally cleaned up. It would have been far too impractical and expensive to redecorate parts of Sunset Boulevard in a 1970s style just for the few seconds of film required.
  • Dick James, played in the film by Stephen Graham, was an interesting man in his own right. Prior to setting up the DJM record label in the late 1960s (which published Elton's early records) he had made his name as a session singer, most famously singing the theme tune to the Richard Greene television series The Adventures of Robin Hood (1955). In the early 1960s he ventured into music publishing and was a co-creator (along with Brian Epstein) of 'Northern Songs Ltd' to deal with publishing rights for songs penned by The Beatles. After the death of Epstein in 1967, James's relationship with the fab four deteriorated, and he sold his share of Northern Songs to Sir Lew Grade's ATV company at a handsome profit, and without consulting John Lennon and Paul McCartney (as they were under the impression there was an agreement that any sale of James's stake in the company would be offered to them first). DJM were Elton's UK record label until 1976 (US sales were licensed by DJM to MCA) until Elton started publishing under his own 'Rocket' label brand that he had started in 1973 to handle other artists. One of the earliest Rocket artists Elton signed up was Kiki Dee. In the 1980s John took legal action against James over rights issues and won his case shortly before James died in 1986 aged 65. After his death the rights to the DJM back catalog (minus Elton's records) were sold to Polygram.
  • When Elton is seen going through his record collection, Queen's 1976 album A Day At The Races is briefly visible. A possible nod to Bohemian Rhapsody (2018), on which Dexter Fletcher did finalizing work.
  • One of the biggest challenges that Elton John faced in trying to get this project moving forward is that many producers told him they wanted to make a PG-13 rated film. John told them all the same thing: that he had not led a PG-13 life.
  • Taron Egerton wears 53 different pairs of glasses throughout the film.
  • Bryce Dallas Howard is eight years older than Taron Egerton, who plays the adult version of her son.
  • In an early scene, a music producer tells Elton he's going to shoot the next piano player who plays Streets of Laredo. This is potentially a nod to Elton John's album "Don't Shoot Me I'm Only the Piano Player". The album, in turn, seems to be a reference to François Truffaut's film Shoot The Piano Player, starring Charles Aznavour.
  • The "I'm Still Standing" music video in the movie takes most of its footage from the original music video, only replacing the real Elton John with Taron Egerton.
  • Released the same year as The Lion King (2019). Both the original The Lion King (1994) and the 2019 remake feature music and lyrics by Elton John.
  • During the "Rocket Man" sequence, the lyrics are changed from "I miss my wife" to "I miss my life."
  • During the "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" sequence, Elton wears bedazzled ruby red boots, an allusion to the ruby slippers in The Wizard of Oz (1939).
  • In reality, Elton John and Ray Williams were the same age. Taron Egerton is seven years older than Charlie Rowe.
  • This film marks Dexter Fletcher's second 'jukebox musical' following on from Sunshine on Leith (2013), which showcased the songs of The Proclaimers.
  • The BBC's film critic Mark Kermode praised Rocketman for taking risks in its portrayal of Elton John, in stark contrast to Bohemian Rhapsody (2018), which was widely criticized for being a sanitized, family-friendly version of his friend Freddie Mercury.
  • This is the second time Richard Madden plays a character who became the lover of a famous music icon, the first time being in the TV Movie Worried About the Boy (2010) about Boy George.
  • In the opening sequence where the logo for MARV appears, the letters cannot be seen by people who are colour blind (depending on what colours are affected by their condition).
  • Rob Delaney had filmed a cameo scene as Elvis Presley, but the scene was cut from the final film.
  • When the Dwight family is singing "I Want Love", the lyric is changed to "I want a love that means something". The original lyric is "I want a love that don't mean a thing".
  • Also considered for the role of John Reid was Paisley-born actor Craig McGinlay.
  • Taron Egerton has said his favorite Elton John song is Your Song. He sang it for his drama school audition.
  • The score that young Reggie is studying in bed before beginning to imagine conducting the orchestra is the first movement of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's 1st piano concerto.
  • Taron Egerton had previously recorded and performed Elton John's "I'm Still Standing" in Sing (2016), and interacted with Sir Elton as an actor in Kingsman: The Golden Circle (2017).
  • The album Elton John's father presents for him to autograph is the British release of his first album, "Empty Sky." The record was released in Britain in 1969 but didn't come out in the U.S. until 1975, with a different cover design. The one in the movie is the British version.
  • Jamie Bell played the title role in Billy Elliot (2000). When the film was adapted into a stage musical, Elton John provided the music for the score.
  • John Reid, played by Richard Madden, was also manager for the band Queen. Madden's Game of Thrones (2011) costar Aidan Gillen portrayed Reid in Bohemian Rhapsody (2018).
  • Even though Elton John and John Reid broke up in 1975, Reid remained John's manager until 1998. Elton John stated in interviews that post breakup he and Reid had a cordial relationship that was 100% purely business.


  • In the film, Elton mentions that his full name is Elton Hercules John. The film makes out that Elton John chose John as a surname while looking at a picture of John Lennon, but in reality he chose John because he was a fan of singer Long John Baldry. The Hercules part of the name came later and he decided upon it whilst watching the British TV series Steptoe and Son (1962), where the name of the Steptoe's horse was 'Hercules'.
  • Elton John's suicide attempt is portrayed as the inspiration for the song Rocket Man. It was actually inspired by a Ray Bradbury short story titled "The Rocket Man." An earlier suicide attempt, in which Elton stuck his head in an oven but was rescued by Long John Baldry, inspired the song "Someone Saved My Life Tonight."
  • Before Young Reggie plays at Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting at the meat auction, the first song he starts to play is Streets of Laredo.
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