An Elton John biopic would grab our attention in most any configuration, but producers Steve Hamilton Shaw, David Furnish, Lawrence Bender, and (hey) Sir Elton John are doing a great job with the early hype for Rocketman. Shaw promises, “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.” Up-and-coming commercials director Michael Gracey is on board with a script by Lee Hall (Billy Elliott) that features choreographed features set to John’s catalog. Best of all, Tom Hardy is circling the lead role—I didn’t know I wanted that, but now I must have it.
This is understandably an appealing package to studios. Deadline reports FilmDistrict is near a deal for the U.S. rights with a $10 million minimum guarantee (plus a significant marketing budget) for a wide release. Hall’s script starts at age five with a musical prodigy who wins a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music by age eleven, so the next step is to cast Young Elton. We will let you know if/when they lock in Hardy and/or FilmDistrict’s money.