BURBANK, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Disney Original Documentary and Disney+ today announced the feature-length documentary GOODBYE YELLOW BRICK ROAD: ELTON JOHN’S FINAL PERFORMANCES AND THE YEARS THAT MADE HIS LEGEND. From Oscar-nominated RJ Cutler and filmmaker David Furnish, the documentary will serve as the official feature film on Elton John, consisting of never-before-seen concert footage of him over the past 50 years, hand-written diaries and current footage. of him and his family. After a robust festival run and limited theatrical release, the film will be available exclusively on Disney+.
Rooted in Elton John’s “Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour,” the feature-length documentary will capture Elton John’s final months on the road, culminating in what promises to be one of the greatest send-offs in the history of the rock and roll when John performs his final North American show at Dodger Stadium next November. The film will also look back on the first five extraordinary years of John’s career when, between 1970 and 1975, he released 10 iconic albums, seven of which went to No. 1 on the Billboard charts and became a worldwide phenomenon.
“There are no more superlatives to describe Elton John and his impact on music and culture – he is simply unparalleled,” said Bob Chapek, CEO of The Walt Disney Company. “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 couldn’t be more thrilled to be collaborating with him on this new documentary.”
“Working with RJ Cutler and David Furnish on what will undoubtedly become the defining film about the iconic Elton John is a great honor,” said Ayo Davis, President of Disney Branded Television. “Their incredible insight and intimate access to exclusive, never-before-seen anecdotes and images will provide the deepest and most captivating insight yet into one of the world’s most beloved and prolific artists.”
Featuring exclusive new interviews and performance clips from Madison Square Garden, London and other venues, the film will be the definitive portrait of one of the world’s most successful musical artists of all time, who has inspired several generations of audiences and musicians. In addition to directing, RJ Cutler will also produce the film under his company, This Machine Filmworks (part of Sony Pictures Television), as will David Furnish, who will produce under Rocket Entertainment, formed by him and Elton John. Trevor Smith will also serve as producer. John Battsek, Jane Cha Cutler and Elise Pearlstein are joining as executive producers.
“What a pleasure and what an honor it is that David Furnish and I can create this intimate and unique look at one of the world’s most celebrated artists,” said director and producer RJ Cutler. “As with so many others, the music of Elton John has held deep meaning for me for decades, and this opportunity is nothing short of a career highlight and privilege.”
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 Elton’s career — it’s his life. From Troubadour to Dodger Stadium, we knew RJ would help guide the story of Elton and its many layers in an authentic and evocative way. We are delighted to work together.
RJ Cutler is an award-winning filmmaker who has made some of the most important documentaries and television series of the past quarter century. He is the director, producer and screenwriter of four times Emmy®-nominated and Oscar®-Shortlisted documentary “Billie Eilish: The World’s A Little Blurry”, about music sensation Billie Eilish. Her additional documentary credits include Critics’ Choice Award-nominated “BELUSHI”, Oscar-nominated “The War Room”, Emmy-nominated “A Perfect Candidate”, Peabody Award-winning “The September Issue” and “Listen to Me Marlon,” Oscar-nominated “Thin,” and Grierson-winning “The World According to Dick Cheney.”
Submarine’s Josh Braun brokered the deal with Disney. Danny Passman of Gang, Tyre, Ramen, 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 under their respective production companies, This Machine Filmworks (part of Sony Pictures Television) and Rocket Entertainment. Trevor Smith is also a producer. Executive producers are John Battsek, Jane Cha Cutler and Elise Pearlstein. Marjon Javadi is Vice President, Originals for Documentaries and Docuseries for Disney Branded Television/Disney Original Documentary.