At this point, it feels a little foolish to doubt Tom Hardy’s transformative properties. Pick any two films from his filmography and you’ll find yourself faced with two drastically different Hardys. He may be rail-thin or bulging with muscle. Soft-spoken or screamingly incoherent. Like snowflakes, no two Tom Hardy performances are ever quite the same.
So when the news comes in, as it has (via Deadline Hollywood), that Hardy has officially signed on to play Elton John in the biopic Rocket Man, all we can really do is shrug our shoulders and say “yeah, that sounds about right.” Before too long, Hardy will have made himself over in the image of the famous musician, sporting massive sunglasses and sequin-covered clothing, and will probably learn a thing or two about playing the piano. Although he may not be doing too much singing – according to the official press release, the real Elton John will be re-recording his own songs for use in the film.
It’s essentially a given that Hardy will deliver a strong performance. Nearly every performance in his career (if you strategically ignore This Means War) has been terrific, and the ups and downs of John’s life – drug use, throat polyps, funky sunglasses – should give the actor plenty to work with.
Rocket Man will be written be Lee Hall (of Billy Elliot fame) and directed by Michael Gracey, who’s also attached the upcoming P.T. Barnum and Jim Henson biopics The Greatest Show on Earth and The Muppet Man.