An Elton John biopic, Rocketman, is on the way, chronicling the life of the iconic singer/songwriter from his days as a young boy in England, through his illustrious career the height of his fame in the 1970s. Welsh actor Taron Egerton portrays Sir Elton John in the upcoming film, which is slated for release in theaters worldwide on May 31st, 2019. The film also stars Jamie Bell, Richard Madden, and Bryce Dallas Howard, was directed by Dexter Fletcher, and written by Lee Hall.
On Sunday, John penned a lengthy letter for The Guardian detailing the biopic’s long journey to its final stages of production and the big screen. He explained,
Even if I hadn’t been, the whole experience of watching someone else pretend to be you on screen, of seeing things you remember happening again in front of your eyes, is a very weird, disconcerting one, like having an incredibly vivid dream. And the story of how I ended up in a cinema, crying my eyes out at the sight of my family 60 years ago, is a long and convoluted one. And it begins, naturally enough, with a naked transgender woman with sparks flying out of her vagina.
Elton John moved forward with acknowledging Amanda Lepore, a model, singer and performance artist, who starred in a series of films by David LaChapelle John commissioned for his Las Vegas residency, The Red Piano, in 2004.
An actor was dressed as me in full 70s stage outfit sticking his head in a gas oven, homoerotic angels figure-skating with giant teddy bears and Amanda Lepore, naked, in an electric chair, with sparks flying out of her vagina. I loved it: I’d said all along I didn’t want a standard Vegas show, and no one was ever going to be able to call The Red Piano that.
Next, John touched on the notion of looking back on his career. He continued,
I’ve never been very interested in looking back at my career. It happened, I’m incredibly grateful, but I’m more interested in what I’m doing next rather than what I did 40 years ago. But that began to change a little the older I got, and I really started to approach things in a different way when I had children. I was 63 when our first son, Zachary, was born, 65 when Elijah came along – and I did start thinking about them in 40 years’ time, being able to see or read my version of my life. I became less conscious about keeping it all to myself. I liked the idea of them having a film and an autobiography, where I was honest.
John then dove into the lengthy process behind bringing Rocketman to the big screen. He explained,
Some studios wanted to tone down the sex and drugs so the film would get a PG-13 rating. But I just haven’t led a PG-13 rated life. I didn’t want a film packed with drugs and sex, but equally, everyone knows I had quite a lot of both during the 70s and 80s, so there didn’t seem to be much point in making a movie that implied that after every gig, I’d quietly gone back to my hotel room with only a glass of warm milk and the Gideon’s Bible for company.
Earlier in 2018, the prolific musician announced that he will retire from touring with an extensive 300-date tour dubbed “Farewell Yellow Brick Road.” The massive global farewell tour will likely span through to 2021, John reported on Anderson Cooper. At 70 years old, John explained his reasoning behind his farewell, noting, “My priorities have changed in my life. … My priorities now are my children, my husband, my family. I thought the time is right to say thank you to my fans and say goodbye.”
Though the tour is likely to continue for years, John noted that once the tour is over, he’ll be done for good. As John explained, “I’m not going to say I’m retiring and then do a world tour. I’m not Cher.”
For ticketing information and a full list of upcoming tour dates, head to Elton John’s website.
[H/T The Guardian]