Elton John has some advice for Taron Egerton, the 28-year-old Welsh actor who will play him in the upcoming biopic "Rocketman": Make them your songs, not mine.
"Elton has told Taron, 'Don't copy me,'" says the movie's co-producer David Furnish, John's husband. "'Don't think you have to sing it exactly the way that I sang it. Don't think you have to perform it the way I performed it. I think it's the challenge for the actor to embody the spirit and not get into thinking they have to do an impersonation."
Furnish sat in as Egerton, best known for "Kingsman" and "Eddie the Eagle," recorded three John songs recently at Abbey Road Studios in London.
"When I played the songs for Elton, he was blown away," Furnish reports. "Elton was like, 'It can't get any better for me.'"
"Rocketman" has been in the works for more than six years. Production is expected to begin in a few months.
At one point, Tom Hardy had signed on to play the flamboyant rock star. The director is Michael Gracey ("The Greatest Showman").
The film is based on a screenplay by Lee Hall, who wrote the Oscar-nominated screenplay for 2000's "Billy Elliot" and won a Tony Award for adapting the film into a 2008 Broadway musical, a collaboration with Sir Elton and Oscar-nominated director Stephen Daldry.