Based on a true story…

5 Biopics on Elton John, Billy The Kid, more

BY: Claire Connors

After the resounding success and adoration for this year’s Academy Award winning hits, Green Book and Bohemian Rhapsody (we adore you, Rami Malek), it’s only natural that more biopics would be front and center in the upcoming movie release schedule.

Of course, the most anticipated is Rocketman, starring the adorable Taron Egerton as super fucked up rock star, Elton John. Not only is this about another drug-addled gay man who skyrocketed to fame and fortune in the 70s music scene, a la Freddie Mercury, but the two movies were directed by the same uber talented Dexter Fletcher. Fletcher, once a hot young actor who found fame in 1986 in another biopic, Caravaggio, took over on Rhapsody when the original helmer, Bryan Singer, was pushed out (or did he jump?) from that production. Not that it seems to matter, but neither director got any credit for that movie. We have a feeling Fletcher will be getting a lot of attention for this one!

Rocketman opens May 31st.

Red Joan

Perhaps the last person you would ever have suspected of being a Soviet spy would be the sweetly disposed but rather bumbling Joan Stanley (Judi Dench), a British government civil servant. But that’s exactly who gets caught in the web of the espionage drama, Red Joan. The story follows young Joan, played by Kingsman star Sophie Cookson, a communist sympathizer who’s recruited into the KGB in mid-30s England. Soon she’s sending nuclear bomb secrets to Russia, enabling the east to stay abreast with the west in the race for an atomic bomb. Joan was such a good turncoat, it took fifty years for the Brits to catch the spy.

Red Joan opens April 19th.

The Kid

The Kid referred to in the title, is a young boy (newcomer Jack Schur) who witnesses the final shoot out between long-time friends-turned enemies, Sheriff Pat Garrett (Ethan Hawke) and Billy the Kid (Tulip Fever‘s handsome star, Dane DeHaan). The western is packed with other stars we love like Chris Pratt, Adam Baldwin, and Vincent D’Onofrio, who is also the director.

The Kid opens March 8th.

Peterloo

The infamous 1819 Peterloo Massacre is a scar on British history and much deserving of a film adaptation. Director Mike Leigh (Happy Go-Lucky), who hails from Manchester, where the notorious battle took place, focuses on the unjust attack by British soldiers on a peaceful protest against the government’s handling of rising poverty, that resulted in hundreds of deaths and injuries. It’s still considered one of the worst civil wars in Great Britain’s history.

Peterloo opens April 5th.

The Best of Enemies

We’re curious if the somewhat negative response to Green Book‘s Best Picture Oscar win will effect the release of The Best of Enemies, another film about race relations in the Jim Crow south in the early 70s. This one stars the always reliable Taraji P. Henson (Hidden Figures, 2016) as civil rights activist Ann Atwater, a woman at the forefront of school integration in North Carolina. Her enemy? None other than the Exalted Cyclops of the Ku Klux Klan (whatever the hell that means!). Who better to play the raging racist than the lovely performer, Sam Rockwell, a known mensch who just happens to be really good at playing stupid bad guys, like his character in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. Of course, the rivals end up working together to make important societal changes, but will their message of brother and sisterhood resound? We may have to wait until next year’s Oscars to find out.

The Best of Enemies opens April 5th.