As if his artistic legacy weren’t already extraordinary, Elton John is now developing a feature-film musical about his life, and he’s teaming up with Tony Award-winning and Academy Award-nominated “Billy Elliot” screenwriter Lee Hall to do it. The project is titled “Rocketman”, after his 1972 hit single.
The project, which is being produced by John and his Rocket Pictures partners David Furnish (also John’s domestic partner) and Steve Hamilton Shaw, will follow the chart-topping musician’s life from his time as a child piano prodigy through to his rebellious young adulthood and early chart-topping collaborations with lyricist Bernie Taupin. According to Deadline, which first reported the story, the plot will be told using choreographed musical numbers featuring John’s biggest hits to illustrate pivotal events in the artist’s young life.
“‘Rocketman’ will be a radically different kind of biopic,” said Shaw. “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.”
John will be heavily involved in the project as a producer, helping to hand-pick a director and, critically, actors who will portray him at different stages. He and Hall previously worked together on the Tony-winning stage adaptation of “Billy Elliot”, for which John wrote the score.
John’s last project as a film producer was this year’s moderately-budgeted animated hit “Gnomeo and Juliet”, which grossed nearly $200 million worldwide. As a musician he has sold more than 60 million albums in the U.S. alone over the course of his career. His song “Candle in The Wind 1997” remains the best-selling single in Billboard history, with over 33 million copies sold worldwide.
What do you think of this news? Any ideas on which actor(s) should play him?