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.