There was a Chapelle’s Show skit (that I can’t find online) in which Dave Chapelle talked about a positive bias that may have seeped into Antwone Fisher, since it was written by… Antwone Fisher. It’s often stuck in my mind when I hear of biopics that have direct input from the subject, something that happens far too often — even if it only actually happens a few times.
So, I’m feeling a little ambivalent about an upcoming biopic of Elton John that will be executive produced by — you guessed it before you read it — Elton John. As Deadline reports, he’s working with David Furnish on Rocketman, which is produced through their Rocket Pictures. Described as a “biographical musical fantasy that will weave together John’s life and his music,” producer Steve Hamilton Shaw promises a story “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.” Billy Elliot writer Lee Hall is behind the script. He has a pre-existing connection, since John wrote the score for that story’s West End stage adaptation.
Some of the musician’s biggest hits will be used as “part of the movie package,” which “will drive a story that will cover the rough spots in John’s journey of self-discovery.” A director and actor are being sought right now, although he could be played by multiple people over the runtime. Interestingly enough, Rocket Pictures was also behind Gnomeo & Juliet, a film that featured plenty of music by Elton John. Starting to notice a trend here.
In all seriousness, my snark may not be so justified if they actually stay true to their current intent of giving an honest look at his life. Even if they don’t, the descriptions make it sound like an unconventional entry into one of the most boring subgenres out there, which is at least nice. No hagiography and we’ll be crystal, but some fun musical numbers could prevent it from being unbearable.
Would you be willing to see a biopic of Elton John, even though he’s involved? How do the proposed methods sound to you?
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