Elton John and ‘Rocketman’ touch down in Cannes

CANNES, France (AP) — Elton John and his biopic “Rocketman” landed Thursday at the Cannes Film Festival, where the 72-year-old pop star came dressed in a tuxedo with “Rocket Man” emblazoned on the back and regaled attendees with an after-party performance on the beach.

John, an executive producer of the film, hadn’t spoken much about the movie before it made its premiere at Cannes. But donning heart-shaped, red-tinted glasses he gave the movie his hearty blessing Thursday. At the post-premiere party, he called it “an emotional night.”

“Even if the movie doesn’t make one penny at the box office — which will kill (Paramount Pictures chief) Jim Gianopulos — it is the movie I wanted to make,” John said from the stage.

At the party John performed “I’m Still Standing” before being joined by Taron Egerton, who plays him in the film for a rendition of “Rocket Man.” Egerton was visibly moved to tears after the premiere.

“Rocketman” is directed by Dexter Fletcher who also took over directing duties on last year’s hit music biopic, “Bohemian Rhapsody,” after Bryan Singer departed mid-production.

“Rocketman” isn’t so dissimilar from “Bohemian Rhapsody.” It’s a glossy music-stuffed biopic with a star-making turn from Egerton. But “Rocketman” is R-rated and less cautious about its star’s homosexuality.

Paramount Pictures hopes “Rocketman” can also mimic the box office of “Bohemian Rhapsody.” It grossed $903 million worldwide.

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