As Videogum took great pains to point out, getting to choose who plays you in a biopic is like getting to choose your own nickname—you just can’t do it, really. Nonetheless, Elton John, whose life has certainly packed a couple movies’ worth of juice over his almost 65 years, has expressed his thoughts over who should play him in his upcoming biopic, said by the rock legend to be more of a Moulin Rouge-like surreal trip than a simple Ray or Walk the Line-type rise-and-fall flick. “No. 1 on my wish list [of who should play me] is Justin Timberlake,” says John. “Because he played me before in a David LaChapelle video of ‘Rocket Man’ and was superb.” (It was “This Train Don’t Stop Here Anymore,” actually, but close enough.)
Wishful thinking on the part of Sir Elton, no doubt—the number of males who wouldn’t want JT to play them in a movie about their life can basically be limited to those people of such different ethnicity that the obvious disparity would be insulting, and even a healthy percentage of those guys would probably still be cool with it. But playing John in a four-minute slo-mo music video is much different than playing him in a two-hour movie with plot and dialogue and presumably at least some sort of aspirations to plausibility. Ultimately, Timberlake’s brand of swagger seems a little too far removed from the Rocket Man’s style for it to be a natural fit over a whole movie. (Even Robert Downey Jr., who also played Elton in a video once, would be a more logical choice, though he’s probably a little old by now to pull of Young Elton.)
If it is as out-there a biopic as Sir Elton suggests, though, maybe JT could pull it off after all. Maybe it’ll just be the “This Train” video, stretched out to two uncomfortably slow-moving hours. Better get the Steadicam ready just in case.