Mad Max. Bane. Bronson. And… Sir Elton John?
That could happen. “Rocketman” is being developed right now by director Michael Gracey and executive producer Elton John, and it’s being described as “a biographical musical fantasy that weaves together the life of Sir Elton John and his music.”
Bernie Taupin is a key supporting role, and John Reid is also evidently key to the story, but obviously, the main draw here is going to be seeing someone try to bring to life the flamboyant contradictions of Elton John’s performing persona. After witnessing what Michael Douglas did with the role of Liberace, I can imagine a number of actors lining up o try o get a chance to play Elton.
Right now, the project is out to Tom Hardy. That doesn’t mean they’ve made him a formal offer yet, or even that he’s interested, but it’s an intriguing possibility. What I find most compelling about it is that Hardy seems like a guy who embodies a certain form of physical machismo, but who challenges that appearance at every turn. I like that. I think guys like Hardy will help to shatter traditional notions of what a “leading man” is or isn’t allowed to do on film, and every little bit of that helps.
Hardy strikes me as a guy who has no interest in fitting into any conventional box that Hollywood might construct for him, and I could see him taking a role like this simply to upend the way people view him. The film will evidently feature a large role for a young Elton John as well, and the wish list for that includes guys like Ben Foster, who I don’t honestly see as much younger than Hardy. That’s strange, and it doesn’t really line up in terms of one of them believably aging into the other. Then again, if this is all seen through a fantasy filter, maybe that’s not something they care about.
Whatever the case, there are a lot of music biopics in development right now that I’d like to see, if only to see how someone tackles such iconic characters. Sacha Baron Cohen has been working towards his Freddie Mercury film for years, and I am rabid about the idea of seeing that finally brought to the screen. This would be another one where the casting would make it a must-see automatically, and I’ll be curious to see how it plays out.
In the meantime, Tom Hardy will be Mad Max in next summer’s “Fury Road.”