Disney Original Documentary and Disney + have announced the documentary Goodbye Yellow Brick Road: The Final Elton John Performances and The Years That Made His Legend.
The official documentary on Elton John it will be made by Oscar nominee RJ Cutler and director David Furnish, will include unedited footage from concerts from the past 50 years, current footage of him and his family, and will feature original documents and handwritten notes by the great artist for the first time. After a long string of festival presentations and limited US theatrical release, the film will be available exclusively on Disney +.
The documentary film, which has its roots in Elton John’s “Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour”, will chronicle the last months of his career, culminating in what promises to be one of the greatest goodbyes in rock and roll history, when John he will perform next November at Dodger Stadium, for his last North American concert. The film will also trace the extraordinary first five years of John’s career, when, between 1970 and 1975, he released 10 iconic albums, seven of which topped the Billboard chart, becoming a global phenomenon.
“There are no superlatives to describe Elton John and his impact on music and culture – he is simply unmatched”Said Bob Chapek, CEO of The Walt Disney Company. “Like a good Disney story, Elton’s music has 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 it The Lion King an instant classic, and we couldn’t be more excited to collaborate with him on this new documentary“.
“Working with RJ Cutler and David Furnish on what will undoubtedly become the iconic Elton John film is a great honor.”Said Ayo Davis, president of Disney Branded Television. “Their incredible insight and privileged access to exclusive, never-before-seen anecdotes and footage will provide the deepest and most captivating insight into one of the world’s most beloved and prolific artists.“.
With exclusive new interviews and snippets of performances from Madison Square Garden, London and other locations, the film will be the most complete portrait of one of the most successful musical artists of all time, who has inspired several generations of audiences and musicians. In addition to directing, RJ Cutler will produce the film with his company, This Machine Filmworks, as well as David Furnish, who will produce with Rocket Entertainment, which he and Elton John founded. Trevor Smith will also serve as producer. Executive producers are John Battsek, Jane Cha Cutler and Elise Pearlstein.
“It is an emotion and an honor to be able to convey with David Furnish this intimate and unique vision of one of the most famous artists in the world.”Said director and producer RJ Cutler. “As with many others, Elton John’s music has held profound significance to me for decades, and this opportunity is nothing short of a privilege and a highlight of my career.“.
Director and producer David Furnish said: “Elton and I couldn’t think of a better collaborator than RJ Cutler for a film that represents more than just Elton’s career – it’s his life. From Troubadour to Dodger Stadium, we knew RJ would help us tell Elton’s story and many aspects of him in an authentic and evocative way. We are excited to work together“.
RJ Cutler is an award-winning filmmaker who has made some of the most significant documentaries and television series of the past 25 years. He is the director, producer and screenwriter of the four-time Emmy® nominated documentary and shortlisted for the Oscar® Billie Eilish: The World’s a Little Blurry, on the musical phenomenon Billie Eilish. Her documentaries also include the Critics’ Choice Award nominee Belushithe Oscar nominee The War Roomthe Emmy nominee A Perfect Candidatethe Sundance Award winner The September Issuethe winner of the Peabody Award and shortlisted for the Oscar Listen To Me Marlon – Listen To Me Marlonthe Grierson Award winner Thin And The World According to Dick Cheney.
Submarine’s Josh Braun discussed the deal with Disney. Danny Passman of Gang, Tire, Ramer, Brown & Passman, Inc. represented Rocket Pictures. Marisa Fermin and Sarah Santos represented This Machine Filmworks. Jeanne Newman of Hansen, Jacobson, Teller, Hoberman, Newman, Warren, Richman, Rush, Kaller, Gellman, Meigs & Fox represented RJ Cutler.
RJ Cutler and David Furnish direct and produce with their respective production houses, This Machine Filmworks and Rocket Entertainment. Trevor Smith is also a producer. Executive producers are John Battsek, Jane Cha Cutler and Elise Pearlstein. Marjon Javadi is VP, Originals for Documentaries and Docuseries for Disney Branded Television / Disney Original Documentary.