When Justin Timberlake played Elton John for David La Chapelle in his video for “This Train Don’t Stop There Anymore,” we figured it would be the first and last time he’d take on the role of the music icon. But it looks like that tongue-in-cheek performance has placed him right on the top of John’s wish list for his upcoming biopic “Rocketman.”
“We’re making an announcement about that very, very soon,” John recently told the L.A. Times. “We have a director on board, and then it’s just going to be a matter of getting the script exactly the way we want it. Lee Hall has written a script — he wrote ‘Billy Elliot‘ — and then we’ll start trying to cast and plan. I don’t know [where we’re going with casting]. I’ve got a wish list of people. No. 1 on my wish list is Justin Timberlake, because he played me before in a David LaChapelle video of ‘Rocket Man’ and was superb.” Pretty inspired casting, no?
The original annoucement revealed that the film would not be a conventional biopic (which ones are these days?), that it will rather feature “choreographed sequences, powered by John’s famous songs, will be used to take audiences on a journey from the musician’s childhood through his longstanding artistic relationship with lyricist Bernie Taupin and on to his rise to fame and riches.”
John now reiterates that notion, revealing that it “would be a jukebox musical in earnest, maybe with a couple of new songs. You never know. Because it’s going to be a surreal look at my life, and not just a factual look at my life, more in the manner of a ‘Moulin Rouge!‘ I just don’t want it to be a normal biopic because my life hasn’t been like that. And it only goes up to when I go into rehab in 1990. It starts with me going into rehab and ends when I come out.”
John doesn’t just namedrop “Moulin Rouge!” for no reason either, adding that he “tried to get Baz Luhrmann, but Baz is so busy. We can’t announce it yet, but we have got someone on board that we’re very excited about.” The idea of a biopic of someone being produced by that very person didn’t sound like an attractive prospect but if an intriguing helmer/star combo came on board, our interest would definitely be piqued.
Here’s the La Chapelle video which shows Timberlake in full costume as John. Here’s a closer look as well.