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Casting Watch: Tom Hardy Takes on Elton John for Focus Features Biopic

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood October 23, 2013 at 4:25PM

Brit actor on-the-rise Tom Hardy ("The Dark Knight Rises") will channel Elton John in “Rocketman," a musical biopic for Rocket Pictures, with a planned fall 2014 shoot. And Focus Features's new chief Peter Schlessel, who picked up U.S. rights to the film for FilmDistrict in June, will release the movie through Focus.
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Tom Hardy, Inception
Tom Hardy in 'Inception'

Brit actor on-the-rise Tom Hardy ("The Dark Knight Rises") will channel Elton John in “Rocketman," a musical biopic for Rocket Pictures, with a planned fall 2014 shoot. And Focus Features's new chief Peter Schlessel, who picked up U.S. rights to the film for FilmDistrict in June, will release the movie through Focus.  

Michael Gracey (Fox’s upcoming "The Greatest Showman on Earth" starring Hugh Jackman, and Disney's "The Muppet Man") will direct “Rocketman” from a screenplay by Lee Hall (“War Horse”) that tells the story of the child prodigy turned music legend. John is cooperating with the film's soundtrack, which will include several re-recorded songs.

Steve Hamilton Shaw and David Furnish of Rocket Pictures will produce with and Lawrence Bender on behalf of AI Film. Good Universe picked up international sales at Cannes. Sir Elton John and Len Blavatnik are executive producing, along with AI Film CEO Aviv Giladi and Schlessel. 

Hardy's much in demand. Coming up are Daniel Espinosa's "Child 44" with director Daniel Espinosa, Michael Roskam's "Animal Rescue," Steve Knight’s “Locke” and George Miller and Warner Bros.' long-aborning “Mad Max” reboot.

This article is related to: Tom Hardy, Musical, In the House, Biopics


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.