Following the success of music-themed documentaries for “The Beatles”, “Taylor Swift” and “Olivia Rodrigo”, Disney Original Documentary and Disney+ have won the rights to a big feature documentary “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road: The Final Elton John Performances And the Years That Made His Legend”.
Deadline is reporting that this documentary is being created by Academy Award-nominee R.J. Cutler as well as filmmaker (and longtime Elton John partner) David Furnish. The project is estimated to have sold for about $30 million.
This new project will include footage from Elton John’s “Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour”, including filming his last few months on the road, before his final performance at the Dodger Stadium in New York in November. Plus footage from other events, including one from London. unseen concert footage of Elton John over the past 50 years, with hand-written journals and present-day footage of him and his family. Also included in the deal, is that there will be a live stream on Disney+ of the final concert.
The documentary will get a small festival run and a limited theatrical release, plus it will be available exclusively to stream on Disney+.
Bob Chapek, CEO of The Walt Disney Company said in a statement:
“There are no superlatives left to describe Elton John and his impact on music and culture — he’s simply unrivaled. 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.”
In addition to directing, R.J. Cutler will also produce the film under his, This Machine Filmworks, a Sony Pictures TV company, as will Furnish, who will produce under his and Elton John’s formed Rocket Entertainment. Trevor Smith will also serve as producer. Joining as executive producers are John Battsek, Jane Cha Cutler and Elise Pearlstein.
Ayo Davis, president of Disney Branded Television said in a statement:
“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. 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.”
R.J. Cutler said in the same statement:
“What a thrill and an honor it is that David Furnish and I get to create this intimate and unique look at one of the world’s most celebrated artists. As it has for so many others, Elton John’s music has had deep meaning for me for decades, and this opportunity is nothing short of a career highlight and privilege.”
David Furnish added:
“Elton and I could not think of a better collaborator than R.J. Cutler for a film that represents more than just Elton’s career — it’s his life. From the Troubadour to Dodger Stadium, we knew that R.J. would help guide Elton’s story and its many layers in a way that feels authentic and evocative. We’re ecstatic to be working together.”
What do you think of Elton John’s “Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour” coming to Disney+?