Paramount have just announced plans for “Rocketman” a biopic of Elton John, casting Taron Egerton as the hit making Reginald Dwight. An Elton film is quite overdue when you consider his 300 million album sales, flamboyant stage shows throughout the 60s & 70s and becoming a pioneer for gay marriage and adoption.
According to Screenrant Dexter Fletcher directs Rocketman after already tackling the life of Freddie Mercury in the biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Lee Hall (Billy Elliot) wrote the script. Matthew Vaughn will produce along with John and David Furnish, with work set to commence this summer.
Following on form 2015’s “Straight out of Compton” and Fletcher’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” could we be entering into a new dawn of the Biopic? After reaching Oscar winning heights with “Ray” & “Walk the Line” in the mid 00’s we haven’t seen many successful biopics until 2015.
Rocketman is described as “an unvarnished rock and roll biopic” However apparently John is producing the movie himself, we will have to see how gritty ole’ Reggie is prepared to get. Sacha Baron Cohen famously refused to take part in the Freddie Mercury biopic due to the lack of grit and overall tone of the project but with Elton in the driver’s seat of his own film, will have to see how much he reveals of the infamous cocaine induced writing sessions with Bernie Taupin and rock and roll debauchery of the 1970s.
However, alternative readings of rockstars history don’t always prove successful. The 2013 Jimi Hendrix biopic “Jimi: All is By My Side” took an alternative look on the life of Hendrix and whilst gaining generally favourable reviews, failed to make the same impact biopics such as “Walk the Line” did a few years prior.
Whether it’s a drug infused, dramatic tale of a song writing genius or a declawed, nostalgic adaptation, if done well we may see more biopics in the future. Cobain, Lennon, Strummer, Morrison, Joplin the list goes on. Paramount may be about to restart something big…