Why wait until you’re dead and let someone else tell the story of your life? For Elton John, he’s gonna make sure his life is done right on the big screen by executive producing the “Rocketman” biopic his own damn self through his shingle Rocket Pictures (most recently behind “Gnomeo & Juliet“), with Steve Hamilton Shaw and David Furnish lending a helping hand.
The musician, who has already had a crazy busy year with a tour (that will take him through the end of the year) and movie (directed by Cameron Crowe) to support his last album The Union, is pairing up with a familiar friend to get this biopic rolling. Playwright Lee Hall, with whom he collaborated with on the smash-hit “Billy Elliot” stage musical, will pen the script which will take a fantastical approach to weaving together the key moments in John’s life. Choreographed sequences, powered by John’s famous songs, will be used to take audiences on a journey from the musician’s childhood (he was a prodigy), through his longstanding artistic relationship with lyricist Bernie Taupin and on to his rise to fame and riches. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. John battled alcohol and cocaine addiction, bulimia, became a champion for AIDS research and oh yeah, one of the most influential and recognized pop stars on the planet.
It’s a lot of territory to cover. His is a life that has seen him play arenas worldwide, befriend the late Princess Diana, and of course, battle with preconceptions and misconceptions about his sexuality. There is certainly some great material here for an excellent biopic but it will be interesting to see what John chooses to cover and what he prefers to exclude. Also, the casting of the lead should bring some interesting people to the fore, and there is a suggestion they’ll go with different actors to portray him at various ages.
“’Rocketman’ will be a radically different kind of biopic,” producer Shaw told Deadline. “It will be as unique as Elton’s life, told in a non-linear and hyper-visual manner that will transport people through the many intense experiences, some wonderful, some not, that helped define Elton as an artist, musician and man.”
So we’ll see how this develops but in the meantime, this story just reminds us that the “Tiny Dancer” scene in “Almost Famous” is one our favorite Cameron Crowe moments ever.