David Furnish

Tom Hardy Officially Set to Play Elton John in Rocketman

   Tom Hardy is officially set to star as Elton John in Rocket Pictures’ upcoming biopic, Rocketman. What’s more, Focus Features has come aboard to give the film a major U.S. release, producers announced today.

Rocketman is described as being “a larger-than-life movie musical spectacle that tells the story of a child prodigy turned music legend.” John will re-record many of his iconic hits to parallel the emotional beats of the film.

The Hardy deal caps a lengthy search to cast the role of Elton in the film, which will be co-financed by AI Film and directed by Michael Gracey (the upcoming The Greatest Showman on Earth). The original screenplay is written by Academy Award nominee Lee Hall (War Horse, Billy Elliot).

“Tom is a stellar talent who will add extraordinary depth and nuance in bringing Elton’s story to life,” said Rocket Pictures CEO Steve Hamilton Shaw. “We are excited to have such a gifted actor on board, and equally excited to be in the hands of Peter Schlessel and the entire Focus Features team.”

“Tom is quickly becoming known as one of the world’s most versatile actors, and like others at the top of their craft, he has proven his ability to transform himself completely into the character or subject found in the material,” said Schlessel. “We are confident that Tom will embody the physicality and spirit of Sir Elton. This, in conjunction with the creative team led by Michael and Rocket Pictures, will provide the foundation for something that will be a unique cinematic event.”

Rocketman is produced by Steve Hamilton Shaw and David Furnish of Rocket Pictures and Lawrence Bender on behalf of AI Film, the film production and financing company created out of the acquisition of Icon by Len Blavatnik’s Access Industries. Sir Elton John and Len Blavatnik are executive producing, along with AI Film CEO Aviv Giladi and Focus Features CEO Peter Schlessel. UTA Independent Film Group arranged financing for the project and negotiated the project’s sale to FilmDistrict. Good Universe is handling international sales. Incoming Focus CEO Peter Schlessel, brought Rocketman from FilmDistrict to Focus Features.The film is scheduled to shoot in fall 2014.


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Elton John And David Bowie Blasted By The BBC Before Becoming Famous

Both Elton John and David Bowie were initially rejected for performances on the BBC before reaching stardom, according to a documentary calledAuditioning for Auntie.

The doc, set to air on the BBC October 21, tells the story of how artists had to audition for the BBC’s Talent Selection Group before they were allowed to perform on television.

Documents uncovered for the film revealed notes for Elton’s first audition that were less than flattering:

“The items are not songs. Pretentious material, self-written, sung in an extremely dull fashion without any feeling and precious little musical ability. Thin, piercing voice with NO emotion. Not a tuneful voice . . . He writes dreary songs and he sounds like a wonky singer,” the judges wrote of the future icon.

Bowie’s notes were even less kind: “amateur-sounding vocalist who sings wrong notes and out of tune.”


Elton John To Slow Work Schedule After Appendicitis Scare

Sir Elton John has vowed to slow his touring schedule and cut down his work load so he can spend more time with his family in the aftermath of his terrifying brush with appendicitis this summer (13).

The Rocket Man axed a number of shows after falling ill while on tour in Europe, and subsequently underwent an operation to remove his appendix.

The 66 year old revealed he risked death by continuing to perform despite the pain he was in, and has now branded the illness a “wake-up call”, insisting he now wants to spend more time with his partner David Furnish and their two young sons.

He tells Britain’s Event magazine, “I’m lucky I’m still alive… In a lot of ways this has been a huge wake-up call for me. I mean, what am I doing? I’m 66, I’ve been through everything from the drugs and the bad behaviour and I’ve actually amazingly got myself into this situation that I’ve been happy with David for nearly 20 years… We have two boys… (But) I’m living at this ridiculous speed, addicted to touring, addicted to work.

“As soon as I started to recover, I sat down with David and said, ‘Things are going to change”… Look at my life, I want to enjoy this… I think I got my tap on the shoulder and things are definitely going to be changing.”

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Elton’s Partner Planning To Open Vegas Champagne Bar

Elton John’s partner David Furnish is planning on opening a champagne lounge at Las Vegas’ Caesars Palace.

The new bar, called Fizz, is expected to open this fall adjacent to Caesars’ Forum Casino. It will be built between the Colosseum and the nearby entrance to the Forum Shops. The lounge will feature high-end champagnes by the glass, along with a range of cocktails.

John’s personal chef is helping select caviar and charcuterie choices to complement the beverage selections.

“Fizz is an extension of our personal style,” Furnish said in a news release. “Spending so much time in Las Vegas with Elton’s performance schedule, we wanted a space that would reflect our personal style and become an extension of the way we entertain at home.”

There is no official opening date yet.

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Sir Elton John Not Well With Appendicitis

Music legend Sir Elton John is to undergo surgery after he was struck down with appendicitis while on tour in Europe.

The Rocket Man hitmaker sought medical attention after falling sick and he underwent a number of scans and blood tests with his medical team in the U.K. before doctors diagnosed him with an appendix abscess – a complication stemming from appendicitis.

Sir Elton, 66, is currently being treated with a course of intensive antibiotics and is expected to have surgery in the U.K. in the coming weeks, once doctors confirm he is well enough to undergo the operation.

The musician has been advised by medical professionals to postpone his current European tour and will not resume his performances until he is fully recovered from the planned surgery.

A statement published on the star’s official website reads, “Elton is incredibly disappointed to postpone these tour dates. To know that he made such super-human efforts and continued to perform to thousands through his illness only confirms his dedication to his European fans. He is eager to be back on top form and return to play the remaining shows starting in early September 2013.”

Sir Elton was due to headline the Barclaycard British Summer Time Festival in London’s Hyde Park on Friday.

Elton John Finished Having Kids

David Furnish and Elton John have no plans to have any more children

Sir Elton John and David Furnish’s family is complete.

The couple – who welcomed their second son Elijah in December, and also have a two-year-old son Zachary – have insisted they don’t want to have any more children.

David told EOnline.com: ”We’re done. That I can confirm. No more. We’re complete. I got my tubes tied.”

The 50-year-old filmmaker said the six-week-old tot is settling into their family well but admitted that Zachary is a little jealous of their new addition.

He said: ”He’s protective and concerned. If Elijah is crying a lot, he’ll say, ‘Is baby Elijah OK?’ He likes to hold him and he likes to cuddle him. But he’s also a little jealous if [Elijah] gets too much attention. So we’re sharing the love a lot, which is good because we all need to learn to share more love.

”Elijah’s great! He’s gorgeous. He smiled this morning. There’s that thing where they’re out of the womb but then they really wake up. He’s so engaged in people now. He’s a really happy little guy.”

Elton John Shows Off Newborn in Family Photo

Elton John has introduced his second son to the world in a touching family photo.

The musician and his partner David Furnish became dads again earlier this month when a surrogate gave birth to a son, Elijah Joseph Daniel Furnish-John.

The proud papas have now posed for a new family snap, which shows a beaming Sir Elton cradling Elijah while Furnish holds their 2-year-old son Zachary.

The veteran star also tells People magazine how he and Furnish were in the delivery room in Los Angeles to see Elijah’s birth.

He says, “We tried to create a welcoming and relaxed atmosphere. We were excited at the prospect of Elijah’s birth as we were at the prospect of Zachary’s – but much less nervous,” and Furnish adds, “I would say we feel more secure in our parenting skills now – it’s far less scary than the first time ’round!”

Elton John And David Furnish Announce Birth Of Second Son

Five days after denying rumors they had welcomed another child, Elton John and his partner David Furnish have announced the birth of son Elijah. A surrogate delivered Elijah in Los Angeles on Friday, January 11. Elijah weighed 8 lbs., 4 oz.

“Both of us have longed to have children, but the reality that we now have two sons is almost unbelievable. The birth of our second son completes our family in a most precious and perfect way,” the couple said in a statement Wednesday. “It is difficult to fully express how we are feeling at this time; we are just overwhelmed with happiness and excitement.”

Elijah joins older brother Zachary, 2.

Last Thursday, a rep for the couple said reports of a second baby were “false.” Sources claimed the baby was delivered by the same surrogate that gave birth to Zachary on Christmas Day in 2010.

Elton John And David Furnish Deny Baby Rumors

Elton John and David Furnish have not welcomed another child. A rep for the couple tells E! News reports of a second child being born via surrogate are not true.

“Reports that Elton and David have had a second child are false,” the rep said.

John, 65, and Furnish, 50, welcomed their 2-year-old son Zachary via surrogate on Christmas Day in 2010. Earlier reports on Thursday said the same surrogate had given birth to their second baby.

In other celebrity baby news, Rosie O’Donnell announced the birth of her first child with wife Michelle Rounds on Wednesday. “We are thrilled to announce the arrival of our daughter Dakota,” O’Donnell wrote under an Instagram picture of herself and Rounds holding Dakota. “With love and thanks — AMEN.”

No other details on Dakota’s birth were available. Dakota joins O’Donnell’s four children with ex-wife Kelli Carpenter.