Will This Elton John Movie Be the Rare Rock Star Biopic That's Actually Good?


There’s an Elton John biopic coming down the pike, and based on the teaser trailer, we’re tentatively excited.

Rocketman, per Spin, chronicles the singer-songwriter’s life from his pre-fame days to his extremely fame days in the 1970s. The film, directed by Dexter Fletcher and starring Taron Egerton as Elton John, appears to be more of an Elton John jukebox musical that happens to be about Elton John’s life than a straight Elton John biopic. Maybe that’s for the best? Maybe that’s for the worst?

Like a woman who disregards her friends’ advice and gets bangs in the last week of May, we are hopeful. If done right, this Elton John biopic could be a cinematic highlight of the summer, a feel-good, musical romp slash decidedly superhero-free alternative to whatever the hell Marvel’s gonna throw at us.

But like that woman’s friends whose advice she disregarded, we are wary of the worst. Rock star biopics are historically not great. The Doors, Beyond the Sea, Greetings from Tim Buckley, Nina, Cadillac Records…… Perhaps it’s the filmmakers’ reverence for their subject that gets in the way—the most interesting story won’t always be the most flattering. Elton’s involvement as an executive producer on Rocketman and his husband, David Furnish’s, producer credit are worrying in that respect. (Maybe that’s why fictional rock star biopics like Velvet Goldmine et al generally fare so much better?) The whole whimsical jukebox musical aspect is also giving me Across the Universe flashbacks, which is worrying as well.

Again, though, this movie doesn’t exist yet! (It comes out May 2019.) Maybe it’ll be Selena. Maybe it’ll be that Britney Lifetime movie none of us saw. All I can say for sure is don’t get bangs in the last week of May. It’s a terrible decision.

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