Dexter Fletcher stitches Elton John memories

Dexter Fletcher

Las Vegas — Elton John's memories of his nearly five-decade career might not be perfectly clear, but they are his nonetheless.

And now, having been weaved together by director Dexter Fletcher, the world is going to see them.

After swooping in last minute to save "Bohemian Rhapsody," which won four Oscars and two Golden Globes, the British director is moving on to another tale of musical legend: that of John in "Rocketman."

Fletcher arrived on set for the Queen and Freddie Mercury biopic in late 2017, after original directer Bryan Singer -- accused of sexual misconduct -- was fired two weeks before wrapping up filming.

"It was coincidence, really," Fletcher, 53, told AFP.

"I worked on 'Bohemian Rhapsody 'a few years before: that version didn't happen," he added.

Fletcher was originally brought on as director in 2013 -- but was let go over creative differences a year later.

"If things had gone the way they should have gone, we wouldn't be talking about it... I did what I had to do but really my focus is always 'Rocketman,'" said Fletcher.

Both Queen and John are familiar subjects for Fletcher, who as an actor is known for his work with Guy Ritchie on 1998 mystery "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels."

"This music is the best of the 70s and 80s," he said, adding his personal tastes swing in John's favor.

"When you get people in the theater and you have that great song that everyone knows and loves that there's a great unifying experience."

In "Rocketman," those great songs are reinterpreted by Taron Egerton ("Kingsman"), who first appears on screen as the young Reginald Kenneth Dwight, John's birth name.

He's joined by Jamie Bell ("Billy Elliot") as long-time collaborator Bernie Taupin, Richard Madden ("Game of Thrones") as controversial lover and manager John Reid, and Bryce Dallas Howard ("Jurassic World") as John's mother, Sheila Dwight. — AFP