Rocketman true story: How much of Elton John biopic is true – is it accurate?

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Elton John’s long-awaited biopic Rocketman hits UK cinemas today. The movie tells Elton’s life story as a flamboyant musical with magical elements. Rocketman does not brush the star’s previous struggles with addiction under the carpet, but how accurate is it to his real life?

Rocketman is the second superstar biopic to hit cinemas in less than a year and follows the huge success of Freddie Mercury movie Bohemian Rhapsody.

While some criticised Bohemian Rhapsody for fluffing over Mercury’s homosexuality, Rocketman promises to portray Elton’s colourful life – warts and all.

Rocketman director, Brit Dexter Fletcher, 53, says he connected to Elton’s story because of his own struggles with substance abuse.

READ MORE: Rocketman end credits scene: Is it worth sticking around after Taron Egerton’s Elton John?

Dexter told Metro: “I’m no stranger to all that.”

The directer rose to fame as a child actor playing Babyface in the 1976 Bugsy Malone film.

By the time he had reached 27, his life had spiralled out of control.

He told the Sun: “I was in a terrible state. I was about to go ­bankrupt but was still expected to provide for all these blokes who were living in my house — drug dealers and what not — and I had no money.”

Rocketman, which premiered at Cannes this week, does not shy away from showing Elton’s Rock and Roll lifestyle.

The movie shows Elton’s early days as a prodigy at the Royal Academy of Music and charts his rise to Rock and Roll fame and his eventual musical partnership with Bernie Taupin.

Elton John himself reportedly told filmmakers they could make Rocketman “as G-rated as you need to” in order to truly represent his hedonistic lifestyle.

While some expected the film to have an 18 age rating, it was rated R in the US – equivalent to a UK 15.

Rocketman, which was co-produced by Elton’s husband David Furnish, includes some strong language throughout, some drug use and sexual content.

Speaking on some of the films grittier scenes, Furnish told the Sun: “Elton John is somebody that I think I know incredibly well, but then also it’s like watching a film about somebody you don’t know at all.

“The Elton in all that madness is not the Elton I know.

“At times, he’s a bit of a monster and also, deeply unhappy.

“That’s hard. Many times as I watched the film, I wanted to go and give him a hug, like I could help him. I thought, ‘God, you’ve been through a lot.’”

Rocketman does touch on the more personal aspects of Elton’s life, the film is rated 15, so raunchier moments may not be shown in full.

Studio bosses allegedly requested a scene, which shows Taron Egerton lying naked in bed with his manager John Reid, played by Richard Madden as Elton’s manager, to be just 40-seconds long.

Unlike Bohemian Rhapsody, in which actor Rami Malek lip-synced over Mercury’s most famous hits, Rocketman star Taron Egerton does his own singing.

Rocketman has already been lauded as an unconventional biopic.

While its director, Brit Dexter Fletcher, also worked on Bohemian Rhapsody he says the Elton John biopic is where his heart is at.

Rocketman is in UK cinemas from today, May 22.

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