Justin Timberlake and Tom Hardy were both at one point considered to play Elton John in Rocketman

By Alexia Fernandez
May 30, 2019 05:17 PM

Before there was Taron Egerton, there was almost Justin Timberlake.

Elton John opened up about the process of getting his life story made into an onscreen musical in a personal letter published by The Guardian on Sunday.

There, John revealed the film went through several iterations before they landed on the right fit for an actor to play the superstar.

“Making the thing took years,” the singer wrote. “Directors came and went — David LaChapelle was going to do it, but then he decided to focus on his fine art career — before the producer, Matthew Vaughn, who I’d met when I had a cameo role in Kingsman: The Golden Circle, suggested Dexter Fletcher.”

He continued, “So did lead actors, Justin Timberlake and Tom Hardy were both in the frame before Taron came along.”

Tom Hardy; Justin Timberlake
John Phillips/Getty; John Shearer/Getty

The “Tiny Dancer” singer also faced pushback from movie studios that “wanted to tone down the sex and drugs so the film would get a PG-13 rating,” he wrote.

RELATED: Elton John Didn’t Want to Leave Out Drugs, Sex in Rocketman: ‘I Haven’t Lived a PG-13 Rated Life’

“But I just haven’t led a PG-13 rated life,” John continued. “I didn’t want a film packed with drugs and sex, but equally, everyone knows I had quite a lot of both during the 70s and 80s, so there didn’t seem to be much point in making a movie that implied that after every gig, I’d quietly gone back to my hotel room with only a glass of warm milk and the Gideon’s Bible for company.”

Taron Egerton as Elton John in Rocketman
David Appleby/Paramount Pictures

Egerton, 29, stars as John in the film which blends reality and fantasy to tell the story of the iconic musician’s life and career.

RELATED: Elton John Calls Criticism of Taron Egerton in Rocketman Over Being Straight ‘Bulls—‘

The film premiered to rave reviews at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this month. Richard Madden stars as John’s manager and former boyfriend John Reid, while Jamie Bell stars as Bernie Taupin, John’s songwriting partner.

Rocketman debuts in theaters Friday.

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