Elton John and Taron Egerton performed a surprise duet at the Rocketman premiere at Cannes earlier today. The duo shocked those in attendance after the biopic received a 4-minute standing ovation, which moved both John and Egerton to tears. Paramount is aiming for the movie, which is based on John's life, to get into the Bohemian Rhapsody box office numbers this summer, which it certainly might be able to pull off when all is said and done if the good reception continues.
Taron Egerton and Elton John performed a duet of the hit song "Rocketman," which the movie is obviously based on. John composed the music and melodies while his long-time musical partner Bernie Taupin penned the words. At Cannes, Egerton took most of the lead vocal portions of the song while John attacked the piano and sang harmony. Egerton had no problem hitting all of the high notes that John originally sang back in 1972. Years of drug and alcohol abuse, plus aging, make it a bit difficult for John to reach those high notes these days, though he still has a wonderful voice.
In addition to the standing ovation, Rocketman received huge amounts of applause during Taron Egerton's performances during the movie. Director Dexter Fletcher, who took over for Brian Singer on Bohemian Rhapsody, was also surprised by the reaction that the biopic received during the screening and afterwards. However, Elton John summed it up best before his surprise duet with Taron Egerton. He had this to say.
"This has been a very emotional night for me... Even if the movie doesn't make one penny at the box office, which will kill Jim Gianopulos, it is the movie I wanted to make."
When it was first announced that Taron Egerton was going to play Elton John in Rocketman, the actor revealed that John wanted him to do his own thing when tackling the vocal duties. Unlike Bohemian Rhapsody, Rocketman features Egerton singing all of the parts, not just being piped in with John's original vocals. While it's very impressive, it was pretty hard for Egerton. He explains.
"There's really nothing more intimidating than performing in front of Elton. I don't think I could have done it if he was around a lot. But I think he knew that. He's very astute in that way."
Regardless, Taron Egerton has certainly earned the respect of Elton John, who has had nothing but praise for the actor's performance in Rocketman. Paramount releases the biopic on May 31st and there are going to be plenty of comparisons to Bohemian Rhapsody, which is both fair and unfair at the same time. One of them includes an entire band and is the highest grossing music biopic in history. The other features the story of one man and his music, along with his personal struggles with addiction and fame. Plus, Elton John was around to serve as a consultant. You can watch the Elton John and Taron Egerton duet below.