“I’m an alcoholic, sex addict, and probably a shopaholic”: ‘Rocketman’ won’t whitewash Elton John’s life

Taron Egerton says the film will be an honest depiction of John's life

The forthcoming Elton John biopic Rocketman will tell the singer’s full story – warts and all.

That’s according to Taron Egerton, who portrays John in the upcoming Dexter Fletcher-directed movie.

Speaking at a preview of the film last week, Egerton said that Rocketman dives into all of John’s addictions. NME’s Olly Richards, who attended the preview, wrote: “In one scene, looking rather worse for wear, John says, ‘I’m an alcoholic, sex addict and probably a shopaholic.’ Egerton adds that the film begins with John entering rehab, then the film unfolds as he tells of how he ended up so broken.”

Taron Egerton as Elton John in ‘Rocketman’

It looks to be a far cry from Fletcher’s previous film, Bohemian Rhapsody, which was criticised for skimming over Queen frontman Freddie Mercury’s addictions and sexuality.

Elsewhere in the Q&A at the screening, Fletcher revealed that Rocketman is more of a musical than a typical bipoic.

“I wouldn’t describe it as a biopic…it’s a musical,” Fletcher said. The first minutes of footage aired at the preview show Egerton with a huge troupe of extras dancing through a fairground singing ‘Saturday’. Characters in the film break into song and John’s material will be woven into the narrative.

Fletcher has also denied rumours that a gay sex scene has been removed from Rocketman.

Taking to Twitter, Fletcher responded to the reports by writing: “Seeing much speculation about ROCKETMAN! That’s good! It’s still unfinished so it’s nothing but rumours. It has and always will be the no holds barred, musical fantasy that Paramount and producers passionately support and believe in.”

Rocketman is released in cinemas on May 24.