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.


Elton John Slammed As "The Devil’s Work" By Russian Islamic Leader

Elton John, who is prepping a run of shows in Russia, has already been met with resistance by a parent’s group opposing his presence as homosexual propaganda; now, a Russian Islamic leader has called the Rocket Man’s oeuvre the “devil’s work.”

According to Billboard, Seidzhagfar Lutfullin told local press that Elton is “the devil’s work in the shape of a pederast,” adding that “Sodomy . . . is what the world famous homosexual Elton John, who recently wed a man in public, is promoting.”

Elton has previously has said that he’ll go ahead with the concerts—consequences be damned. He faces 15 days in prison and a $150 fine for breaking the country’s anti-gay laws.

Elton’s Moscow shows are scheduled for December 7 at Crocus City Hall and Dec. 9 in Kazan.

Elton John Biopic ‘Rocketman’ to Launch Foreign Sales Effort at Cannes

It was first announced back in 2011, but now Rocketman, a planned biopic of Elton John, has finally found a director. reports that Michael Gracey, a commercial director best known for that “Evian skating babies” ad, will take the reins of the movie, which will trace Elton’s career from childhood to his status as a global icon. Deadline quotes Hamilton Shaw, CEO of Elton’s movie production company, as saying of Gracey, “He has an innovative, imaginative and compelling vision for the film.”

Far from being a straightforward biography, Deadline reports that Rocketman will feature “fantastical choreographed sequences” set to Elton’s biggest hits. According to Deadline, Gracey says, “Everyone knows and loves Elton John’s music, but the true story of his life is so incredible that it can only be described as a fantasy.”

The search is now on to cast a young actor to play Elton as a child, according to Deadline. As for who’ll play him as a young adult, Justin Timberlake has been mentioned several times, especially since he portrayed the 1970s-era Elton so well in the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer’s video for “This Train Don’t Stop There Anymore.” Justin also played Elton earlier this month in a skit when he hosted Saturday Night Live.

Source:ABC News