Movie biopics spearheaded directly by the subject themselves are always a tricky thing. Whilst the final product obviously showcases the portrait of how a person would like to be remembered and in theory should give you the most accurate portrayal of what that person is like (i.e. simply by virtue of how they have chosen to tell their own story, in what light, what has been omitted, etc), the most likely audience reaction is a film that will mostly be dismissed because it’ll be deemed bias, no matter how honest or truthful it turns out to be. At the end of the day, nobody would be able to take it seriously.

So what do we make of this development today?

Deadline reported last night that Rocket Pictures partners Elton John and David Furnish are launching Rocketman, “a biographical musical fantasy” based on John’s life, his music and his work.

The movie;

will follow his life story from a child piano 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.

Billy Elliot writer Lee Hall will write the script and John will executive produce and play a very hands on role in the development of the film.

Producer Steve Hamilton Shaw says;

Rocketman will be a radically different kind of biopic… 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.”

Deadline say the film will be ‘inventive’ and;

One device will be to feature choreographed sequences using John’s biggest hit songs. Those tunes will be part of the movie package and will drive a story that will cover the rough spots in John’s journey of self-discovery.

Which is a wild and ambitious approach that sounds like they are looking to do some kind of Julie Taymour like version of his life rather than anything like Ray or Walk the Line.

United Artists are now looking to find a director and a hungry actor out there who is willing to take on the risk of playing someone who is as much loved as Elton John is. Deadline suggests Guy Pearce (which totally doesn’t feel right) and Ewan McGregor (better… but still doesn’t quite fit) but I can’t say I have too many better ideas. Maybe once William Shatner could have done it and I’m serious too, even though the video below shouldn’t be taken that way….

Actually no I got it…. it has to be this guy, right?

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This article was first posted on September 22, 2011