Elton John is the latest pop music icon to be the subject of a feature documentary.
Disney+ is working with filmmakers R.J. Cutler and David Furnish on Goodbye Yellow Brick Road: The Final Elton John Performances and The Years That Made His Legend. The documentary will incorporate unseen concert footage of John from over the past 50 years, as well as handwritten journals and present-day footage of him and his family.
The film will also provide viewers with behind-the-scenes access to John’s farewell tour, culminating in what will be his final North American performance at L.A.’s Dodger Stadium in November. This footage will be juxtaposed with material from the first five years of John’s recording career, a period when he released a staggering 10 albums.
While no release date has been given, the film will stream exclusively on Disney+ following a festival run and limited theatrical release.
In addition to directing, R.J. Cutler will also produce the film under the This Machine Filmworks banner, part of Sony Pictures Television, as will Furnish, John’s longtime partner, who will produce under his and John’s Rocket Entertainment. Trevor Smith also serves as producer, and John Battsek, Jane Cha Cutler and Elise Pearlstein join as executive producers.
“There are no superlatives left to describe Elton John and his impact on music and culture — he’s simply unrivaled,” said Bob Chapek, CEO of The Walt Disney Company, in a statement. “Like a good Disney story, Elton’s music has both universal appeal and the ability to connect with audiences on a deeply personal level. He has been part of the Disney family since 1994, when he helped make The Lion King an instant classic, and we could not be more excited to collaborate with him on this new documentary.”
“Working with R.J. Cutler and David Furnish on what will undoubtedly become the definitional film about the iconic Elton John is a great honor,” added Ayo Davis, president of Disney Branded Television. “Their incredible vision and intimate access to exclusive, never-before-seen anecdotes and footage will provide the deepest, most captivating insight yet into one of the world’s most beloved and prolific artists.”
Photo by Gregg Kemp