First Recipient of the Overtures Award for SSSSPOTY gets Lead in Major Biopic

Of all the famous musicians that resonate across generations, Elton John is among the most deserving of being the subject of a biopic. So much so, in fact, that in 2011, it was reported that John would be producing “Rocketman”, a musical biopic about his life. However, the project has hit a number of obstacles the main one being finding the right actor that can sing the challenging songs.  However, now it’s been announced that Taron Egerton will play Elton John.

Taron Egerton had been having conversations with “Rocketman” producers Matthew Vaughn (Egerton’s Kingsman director) and Dexter Fletcher about boarding the biopic to play Elton John. Elton John, who also features in the new Kingsman movie, is reported to have loved working with Egerton and that he has experienced first hand that he has no problem with belting out tunes in a way that makes him ideal for the role. The “Rocketman” team is to start shooting the movie before 2017 is finished.

A 21 year old RADA student Taron Egerton won the coveted Stephen Sondheim Society Student Perfomer of The Year Award 2011 in the finale of the competition at the Queens Theatre in London’s West End. The competition featured all 12 finalists selected from the qualifying heats and required them to perform 2 songs, a Sondheim number and a new work from a musical theatre composer. Taron chose to sing ‘Giants In The Sky’ from “Into The Woods” and “May As Well And Why Not” by Craig Adams and Nona Shepherd. Asked why Taron stood out as the unanimous winner, judge, Kerry Ellis said one thing that set him apart was his totally believable, understated performance which was echoed by another of the judges, Timothy Sheader who had recently produced Into The Woods at the Regents Park Open Air. Anna Francolini thought that his ability to hit and hold every note made his performances faultless, whilst composer and musical director, Sarah Travis, thought that there was a magic in his ability to draw the audience into the songs that he performed. Edward Seckerson, chair of the judges, believed that in another year anyone of the 12 would have been good enough to win but Taron gave a complete performance and as it says in the title it is “Performer Of The Year”. Presenter Julia McKenzie told Taron that his performance was faultless – no faint praise.


Pictured is Taron reprising Giants In The Sky as the competition winner, and receiving the Award from Patrick Hayward, CEO of Overtures (The Bunnett-Muir Musical Theatre Archive Trust) and with judge Kerry Ellis.

Taron was brought up in North Wales where he established himself as a more than competent performer with Aberystwyth Arts Centre featuring in “Oliver!”, “Little Shop Of Horrors”, “The Tempest” & “Return To The Forbidden Planet”. With RADA he has excelled in “Three Sisters”, “A Doll’s House”, “Ajax” and “The Brothers Karamazov”, proving that he is much more than a one trick pony and he still had a further year before graduation.

 

Upon graduation he appeared in plays at the National Theatre and Royal Court before starring in a Sky TV series “Smoke” about the London fire brigade. His first film role was in the 2014 WWI drama “Testament Of Youth” and then his Hollywood career kicked off in 2014 (early 2015 in the U.S.) with the release of Kingsman: The Secret Service, where he played lead protagonist Gary “Eggsy” Unwin. Egerton has recently reprised Eggsy in “Kingsman: The Golden Circle” alongside Colin Firth and Elton John, which hits cinemas this week, but outside the world of finely-dressed British says, Egerton’s other notable credits include playing Edward ‘Mad Teddy’ Smith in the Krays biopic “Legend”,  the eponymous character”Eddie The Eagle” alongside Hugh Jackman (as his coach) and voicing Johnny in the animated movie “Sing”.

He also stars as “Robin Hood” from the director of tv’s ‘Peaky Blinders’ in next year’s big IMAX release. One completed film missing from this list is “The Billionaire Boys Club” where Egerton plays Dean Karny, a pro tennis player, alongside Kevin Spacey and although completed in 2016 no release date has been published. Suffice to say that Egerton has cemented himself as a notable talent, so him playing Elton John would be another boost for his rising fame.

The Elton John biopic is expected to explore several decades of the performer’s life, from when the young Reginald Dwight (Elton John’s real name) started going to the Royal Academy of Music through the time he became a pop sensation in the 1970s to the he was time scoring popular musicals, like The Lion King for Disney. Rocketman will also look at some of the “juicier details” of John’s personal life, but the movie’s main focus will be to show how John became one of the world’s greatest singer-composers and how he’s stayed relevant despite being hit by certain scandals.