Elton John's upcoming self-produced fantasy-based biopic, called Rocketman, is gaining steam. Elton's production company, Rocket Pictures, has hired Michael Gracey to direct the film. Vintage Vinyl News reported that among Gravey's recent credits are commercials for "T-Mobile, Evian, McCain, and Lipton, most of which are heavy in special effects and choreography. He has recently also signed to direct The Greatest Showman On Earth with Hugh Jackman and The Muppet Man for Jim Henson Productions." The production team is currently on the search for an actor to portray Elton as a five-year-old. No start date has been announced for Rocketman.
Gracey talked about the project, which Elton had previously described a series of fantasy sequences -- rather than a conventional linear movie -- and said "Everyone knows and loves Elton John's music, but the true story of his life is so incredible that it can only be described as a fantasy. His journey from impossible dreamer to stardom and uncontrollable excess is something only a musical film can capture, and I'm so excited to be the one to tell his story."
After years of being disconnected with his studio work throughout the '80s and '90s, Elton says that his recent albums -- beginning with 2001's Songs From the West Coast -- kick-started a whole new era for him and lyricist Bernie Taupin: "Bernie and I sat down and decided that we wanted to go back and make a simpler album, and just get back to basics. I mean, throughout the '80s and '90s, y'know, we made some good records, I think, but, y'know, I don't think I played enough piano on the records, and I just think I got away from what I do best, which is play piano, and not synthesizer. I just wanted to go back and do an album that was 100 percent Elton."
On February 22nd, Elton previewed his upcoming album, The Diving Board, for reporters in Los Angeles. The album is slated for release in September.
Elton John will next perform on Thursday (March 28th) at Houston's Toyota Center.