Rocketman producer Matthew Vaughn says he'd like to tackle the life of another musical legend by directing a film about David Bowie. Biopics of famous musicians have long been popular, but the genre may be hotter than ever right now thanks to the massive success of last year's Queen movie Bohemian Rhapsody, which took in over $900 million at the global box office while snagging four Oscars including one for lead actor Rami Malek.
Following the success of Bohemian Rhapsody, Paramount this year banked on audiences also flocking to see Rocketman, a biopic of legendary performer Elton John. Thus far, the film has seen healthy box office returns, though it's unlikely to come anywhere near Bohemian Rhapsody in terms of money making when all is said and done. With Rocketman taking off at the box office to a healthy enough degree, it's fair to assume the musical biopic genre will continue to be huge, and studios will continue digging into rock history for figures who are worthy of the biographical treatment. Indeed, there have already been reports that John's fellow Brit David Bowie will be the next larger-than-life musical star to receive a spotlight film.
If a Bowie movie does indeed come together, there's one person who will gladly step forward to direct the project. Speaking exclusively to Screen Rant, Rocketman producer Matthew Vaughn revealed that it's his dream to one day make a movie about the legendary Ziggy Stardust singer. "If I was allowed to direct a movie about David Bowie, that would be my dream come true," Vaughn said, adding, "It’s Bowie. His music is second to none. No, equal to Elton."
As previously stated, there is indeed at least one Bowie project in the works, a film about the singer's early days entitled Stardust. However, Vaughn is less-than-impressed by the non-musical approach Stardust would apparently take to Bowie. The film would reportedly be set in 1971, before Bowie was a worldwide superstar, but as Vaughn points out would not include any of the singer's actual music. Vaughn said of this,"Doing a movie about Bowie without the music sounds f--king stupid to me, but maybe that’s just me being a bit cynical."
Indeed, Vaughn is not the only one who has expressed trepidation at the Bowie biopic ideas currently being put forth. Bowie's own son Duncan Jones (who is himself a filmmaker, known for the movies Moon and Warcraft: The Beginning) seemed less than enthusiastic when addressing reports that a Bowie film is in the works. However, many Bowie fans have expressed excitement at the Thin White Duke getting a biopic treatment, and have put forth the already Bowie-esque Tilda Swinton as the best choice to play the musical legend.
It seems Vaughn can be counted among those who would love to see Bowie's life come to the screen, though he's not enthusiastic about the idea of depicting the singer without using his songs. Bowie is certainly a fascinating and mysterious enough figure to warrant the big screen treatment, so perhaps one day he will get his own Rocketman or Bohemian Rhapsody. Then again, there are many who argue Bowie is too mysterious and fascinating a figure to belong in a conventional biopic made simply for nostalgic effect.
- Rocketman (2019) release date: May 31, 2019