For the last year or so, Elton John and David Furnish have been working a biopic of the music star called Rocketman. Lee Hall (Billy Elliot) has been working on the script, and now they’ve found a director, in the form of commercials and FX man Michael Gracey.
Deadline reports that the film, ‘follows John’s journey from 5-year old musical prodigy who by age 11 won a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music, to a young man who rebelled against his strict upbringing, wore outrageous costumes and became a global icon who teamed with songwriter Bernie Taupin to sell more records that just about any musical artist of his era’. It’s previously been said it will also include some more fantastical elements and plenty of the singer’s music, in keeping with John’s larger than life personality.
It will be Gracey’s first film as a director (unless he makes The Greatest Showman On Earth with Hugh Jackman first, which he’s also attached to), although he’s well known for both his work in visual effects and for his commercials, which often feature elaborate dance routines, making him a good choice for Rocketman.
The director commented “Everyone knows and loves Elton John’s music, but the true story of his life is so incredible that it can only be described as a fantasy. His journey from impossible dreamer to stardom and uncontrollable excess is something only a musical film can capture, and I’m so excited to be the one to tell his story.”
Casting is already underway to find someone to play Elton has a child (when he was simply Reg Dwight), and there’s no word on who might play him as an adult. Previous rumours suggested Justin Timberlake might take the role, but that was revealed to be more speculation than fact.