Talk of an Elton John biopic, Rocketman, has been in the air for over a year, with Sir Elton famously stating that he would like to see Justin Timberlake as himself in the film. While the extremely busy Timberlake hasn’t yet committed to the project, Australian director Michael Gracey has.
Deadline Hollywood is reporting that Rocket Pictures has announced that Gracey, mostly known for his work in dance-filled commercials for T-Mobile, The Gap, Evian, and Lipton Iced Tea, will helm the production. According to Rocket CEO Steve Hamilton Shaw, “Michael has an innovative, imaginative and compelling vision for the film. We want to create an experience that surprises and moves audiences and knew immediately that he was the perfect director to take them on this journey.”
Gracey is also currently tied to the Fox’s P.T. Barnum flick The Greatest Showman on Earth starring Hugh Jackman, as well as Disney’s The Muppet Man.
Rocketman, which was penned by Billy Elliott scribe Lee Hall, will chart the career path of Reginald Dwight from 5-year-old musical prodigy to his ascension as pop superstar Elton John.
Rocket Pictures is the movie and TV production company formed by Elton John aimed at focusing on family and music-themed projects. Past projects under the Rocket Pictures umbrella include 2011’s animated feature Gnomeo and Juliet.
Casting is currently underway for the child to play the young Elton. Timberlake, seen in the video below portraying Elton in the video for “This Train Don’t Stop There Anymore,” still seems an ideal choice. He once again proved his prowess at imitating Elton on Saturday Night Live several weeks ago, serenading recently departed Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez with a parody of “Candle in the Wind.”
-Brad Haynes, 1059 SUNNY FM/Orlando