Disney released their questionably “live-action” remake of The Lion King this past summer and it was an instant box office hit. After a massive opening weekend of $191 million in the United States, the movie has raked in over nearly $542.5 million domestically, and over $1.1 billion overseas, making it the 7th highest grossing movie of all time around the world. But just because the movie was a huge box office doesn’t mean everyone walked away satisfied, especially if your name is Elton John. Read More »
The Lion King is going to be feeling the love tonight, with Disney releasing the nostalgic soundtrack list for the film to coincide with the launch of ticket sales. The Lion King soundtrack list includes the award-winning score by Hans Zimmer as well as the beloved songs by Elton John and Tim Rice, in addition to two brand new original songs, one performed by John and another still yet to be announced.
But fans of the Tony-winning Broadway show will only be partly appeased, as the excellent “He Lives in You” is included in the list, even as fan-favorite numbers “Shadowland” and “Endless Night” don’t make the cut.
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Who wants the job of altering some of the greatest and most beautiful rock songs probably ever produced? It’s a job that’d probably scare off some musicians, but of course, not record producer and musical virtuoso Giles Martin. Martin, who’s previously remastered The Beatles’ White Album and Sgt. Pepper Lonely Hearts Club Band, does a wonderful job of keeping the beauty of Sir Elton John and Bernie Taupin’s music alive and vibrant in his altered versions.
Working on Rocketman wasn’t Martin’s first encounter with John, who recorded with his father, George Martin (often known as “the fifth Beatle”). Now that Giles Martin has worked more closely with Elton John in the studio, his life has come full-fircle. It’s an experience Martin calls “a labor of love,” and I could’ve asked the Rocketman soundtrack producer a million questions about. In the time we did have with Martin, who also has a cameo in the movie, he told us about rearranging John’s songs, what he wants to see and hear in a musical, and remastering The Beatles’ “A Day in the Life.”
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Rocketman is no run-of-the-mill rocker biopic. While many movies about innovative and ambitious artists play things off-puttingly safe, that’s not the case with Dexter Fletcher‘s Elton John film. Rocketman is not afraid to be bold like its artists, and just like their music, the final result bursts with creativity and life.
The scope of the musical numbers, and how succinctly yet naturally Elton John’s story is told, it’s quite a feat for Flecther as a filmmaker. He’s made a piece of grand spectacle that feels so intimate and personal, which again, is spot-on for capturing the soul of Elton John’s music. If Fletcher’s talent behind-the-camera got overlooked in some corners with Eddie the Eagle, it won’t be in Rocketman.
Recently, we had a short conversation with Fletcher about Taron Egerton’s performance, depicting the Troubadour performance, and his conversations with Elton John.
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Elton John‘s life, music, and now the musical biopic about his journey are filled with rousing highs and crushing lows. Rocketman doesn’t fast-forward through the rough patches and consequences to get the good times, either. It’s the real-deal warts and all biopic that depicts John as an extraordinary musician but also as a deeply human and wounded man. That sounds familiar, yes, but it’s a contrast depicted without aggrandizing and with an immersive intimacy sorely missing in too many music biopics.
Responsible for some of the hard times in the story is John’s mother, Sheila Eileen Dwight, played by Bryce Dallas Howard. In the movie, no amount of success, acclaim, and money soften any the emotional blows John takes from her. It’s a cruel character that, like the film as a whole, Howard doesn’t attempt to sugarcoat. She is like a bulldozer in this movie, just crashing through the fantasy and dragging John back down to earth.
John turned a lot of that pain from his relationship with his parents into beautiful art, a common occurrence that’s both inspiring and, especially to Howard, saddening. We recently spoke with Howard about John’s relationship with his mother, the healthiest motivator for an artist, and what it took to play Elton John’s mother.
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Rock superstar Elton John began developing Rocketman, the musical fantasy biopic about his own life, all the way back in 2011. And while the movie is finally poised to hit theaters in just a few days, it had its fair share of obstacles to overcome: namely, that studios initially wanted to tone down the sex and drugs in the story and to strip the movie of its fantasy elements. Thankfully, neither of those wishes came true.
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Rocketman isn’t slated to hit theaters until the end of May, but if you’re a member of the free-to-join rewards program Fandango VIP, the movie ticket service will let you see the musical Elton John biopic a couple weeks early through their Early Access Screening program. Find out more about the Rocketman early screenings below. Read More »
The Morning Watch is a recurring feature that highlights a handful of noteworthy videos from around the web. They could be video essays, fanmade productions, featurettes, short films, hilarious sketches, or just anything that has to do with our favorite movies and TV shows.
In this edition, the cast of Saturday Night Live talks about their favorite Adam Sandler sketches before the comedian returns to the show as host. Plus, a Hollywood screenwriter takes a crack at writing a scene in just seven minutes, and the cast of Rocketman takes a look back at the iconic style of Elton John. Read More »
Cool Posts From Around the Web:
Following the success of Bohemian Rhapsody last year (and during awards season), Paramount Pictures is looking to have a hit themselves by telling the life story of one of rock’s biggest stars: Elton John.
Rocketman stars Kingsman: The Secret Service star Taron Egerton as the legendary singer of songs like “Tiny Dancer,” “Crocodile Rock,” and of course “Rocketman.” The film follows his trajectory from a young kid being classically trained in piano to one of the most flamboyant, glamorous and entertaining singers in the history of rock and roll. /Film’s own Ben Pearson and Peter Sciretta were on hand at CinemaCon to see some new Rocketman footage, and we’re happy to hear that this looks outstanding. Read More »
If Rami Malek won an Oscar largely for lip synching as Queen frontman Freddie Mercury, that should mean Hollywood is going to award Taron Egerton with an Oscar in the upcoming Elton John biopic Rocketman for actually singing…right?
Egerton took the stage with the legendary musician to sing “Tiny Dancer,” and the timing of this performance strikes me as interesting: as Malek picked up his trophy on the Oscar stage, Egerton was belting out a tune and potentially kicking off a possible Best Actor campaign for next year’s Oscars. This is very possibly a case of accidental shade, but the timing was amusing nonetheless.
Keep reading to see Egerton rock out with Elton John in the new video. Read More »