Movies 1 October 2018 | 15:24

Rocketman trailer: Egerton looks great as Elton

01 October 2018 15:24

It is one of the curses of British acting to be labelled ‘the next James Bond’ – up there with the ‘next Prime Minister but one’. And there are those who have decoded Taron Egerton’s performance in the Kingsman movies as the equivalent of Roger Moore’s apprenticeship for the role of 007 in the long-running TV series, The Saint: an extended job application.

Yet, as anyone who has seen Egerton in Eddie the Eagle (2016) can attest, the man has acting chops. He can do awkward, vulnerable and self-loathing as well as he does street-wise, suave and heroic.

So the first teaser trailer for Rocketman, the Elton John biopic set to be released in May, is intriguing for all sorts of reasons. The singing voice is Egerton’s own and it sounds good: apparently, the real Sir Elton approves, which is no small tribute from a famous musical perfectionist (he and his husband David Furnish are producing the film, with Dexter Fletcher – yes, he of Grange Hill and Lock, Stock – in the director’s chair).

Then there’s Richard Madden, fresh from his role as the tortured beefcake in Jed Mercurio’s Bodyguard, playing the singer-songwriter’s manager and lover, John Reid. ‘There are moments in a rock star’s life,’ says Madden-as-Reid, ‘that define who he is. Where there was darkness there is now you, and it’s going to be a wild ride.’ Since the film portrays Sir Elton’s early and most decadent years, this seems a safe bet.

Written by Lee Hall (Billy Elliott) and co-produced by Matthew Vaughn – another Kingsman alumnus – Rocketman will struggle to be less than the sum of its parts. Which is to say that it ought to be one of the biggest movies of 2019 and might yet establish Egerton as an A-list star, independent of his prospects as Daniel Craig’s successor.

Can you wait? I think it’s gonna be a long, long time….