Elton John Biopic Writer Given Access to Singer’s Diaries
Too often, authorized biopics gloss over the truth in order to create a somewhat sanitized, made-for-Hollywood version of a rock star’s life. However, for the upcoming film, ‘Rocketman,’ Elton John wants the screenwriter to create the most realistic story possible.
Promising an “absolutely huge, crazy Technicolor affair” with “all singing, all dancing,” Lee Hall told BBC Radio 4 that John has been incredibly helpful in terms of access. “One day, he took me to his house and opened a safe and he had all his private diaries that nobody had seen from when he was in rehab and left me there to read all this stuff. But he’s never commented once on the script, he hasn’t interfered at all.”
Hall, whose screenplay for 2000’s ‘Billy Elliott’ — about a young boy discovering ballet among the backdrop of the mid-’80s miners’ strike — earned him an Academy Award nomination, saw many similarities between his famous creation and the rock legend. “The more I talked to Elton, the more I realised that he was Billy Elliot,” he continued. “He went to the Royal Academy when, I think, he was about 13 and he was studying to be a classical pianist and he discovered Elvis Presley and the rest is history. But I think it’s about the struggles that he had, coming from the wrong end of the tracks, with his sexuality. It’s what happened next to Billy Elliot, a sequel in a way.”
Set to begin filming later this year, ‘Rocketman’ covers Elton John’s life through his 1990 stint in rehab. It will star Tom Hardy, who played Bane in ‘The Dark Knight Rises‘ and has the lead in the upcoming ‘Mad Max: Fury Road‘ franchise reboot, as the title character.