Dexter Fletcher to direct The Saint

Dexter Fletcher has signed on to direct a remake of The Saint.The actor-turned-filmmaker, who has previously helmed musical biopics Bohemian Rhapsody and Rocketman, has reportedly been handed control of the latest adaptation of author Leslie Charteris’…

Dexter Fletcher has signed on to direct a remake of The Saint.

The actor-turned-filmmaker, who has previously helmed musical biopics Bohemian Rhapsody and Rocketman, has reportedly been handed control of the latest adaptation of author Leslie Charteris’ 1920s novel series about thief-for-hire Simon Templar, also known as The Saint.

Val Kilmer was the last man to play The Saint on the big screen in 1997, while Ian Ogilvy and Roger Moore portrayed Templar and his alter ego in British TV shows in the 1960s and ’70s.

Guardians of the Galaxy’s Chris Pratt had reportedly been in talks to star as Templar, but he passed on the project last year.

Seth Grahame-Smith has penned the script, and Lorenzo Di Bonaventura is producing along with Brad Krevoy and the late Robert Evans.

According to editors at Variety, Fletcher was tapped to helm The Saint reboot after his huge success with 2019’s Rocketman, the musical biopic based on the life of Elton John.

The movie has won a series of awards, with leading man Taron Egerton scooping a Golden Globe for his portrayal of the iconic musician and John winning the Best Original Song with songwriting partner Bernie Taupin at the Oscars earlier this month.

Fletcher recently signed on to direct Universal’s monster movie Renfield, a modern-day interpretation of the story of fictional character, R.M. Renfield, an inmate at a lunatic asylum who serves as a helper for mythical vampire Dracula.

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Elizabeth Banks to direct and star in Invisible Woman

Elizabeth Banks has signed on to direct and star in Invisible Woman. The actress and moviemaker is following up Charlie’s Angels, her recent directorial effort, by directing, starring and producing Invisible Woman, which is based on her own original p…

Elizabeth Banks has signed on to direct and star in Invisible Woman.

The actress and moviemaker is following up Charlie’s Angels, her recent directorial effort, by directing, starring and producing Invisible Woman, which is based on her own original pitch to executives at Universal Pictures, according to Deadline.

Banks will produce alongside her husband Max Handelman for their Brownstone Productions banner from a script written by The Girl on the Train’s Erin Cressida Wilson. She will also reportedly play the character who turns invisible.

The project is completely different and separate from the upcoming psychological horror The Invisible Man, which stars Elisabeth Moss as a widow of an abusive husband who fears he might still be around. That film, directed by Leigh Whannell, is set for release in February.

Universal was known for its monster movies between the 1920s and 1950s, with films such as Dracula, Frankenstein, The Mummy, The Invisible Man, and Creature from the Black Lagoon.

Studio executives hoped to reboot these films and create a shared universe similar to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but they abandoned that idea after 2017’s The Mummy was a box office failure. They subsequently decided to focus on individual, original monster stories that have less connection between films.

As such, Last Christmas’ Paul Feig is writing and directing a monster movie titled Dark Army from his own pitch and Rocketman’s Dexter Fletcher is helming Renfield, a new take on Dracula’s henchman.

Banks made her directorial debut with Pitch Perfect 2 in 2015 and followed it up with the recent Charlie’s Angels, starring Kristen Stewart, Ella Balinska and Naomi Scott. She is also attached to direct TV movie The Greater Good.

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Rami Malek almost appeared as Freddie Mercury in Rocketman

Rami Malek almost had a cameo appearance as Freddie Mercury in the Elton John biopic Rocketman. The Bohemian Rhapsody star, who won a Best Actor Oscar for his portrayal of the late Queen frontman earlier this year, came close to filming a surprise cam…

Rami Malek almost had a cameo appearance as Freddie Mercury in the Elton John biopic Rocketman.

The Bohemian Rhapsody star, who won a Best Actor Oscar for his portrayal of the late Queen frontman earlier this year, came close to filming a surprise cameo in the movie opposite Elton John actor Taron Egerton, courtesy of director Dexter Fletcher.

In an interview with Gay Star News, Fletcher revealed that he initially loved the idea of briefly cutting to Malek as the iconic singer met with manager John Reid, but it didn’t work out.

“There was an idea I had at one point, where Elton’s in a restaurant with his mother. I thought John Reid and Freddie could be at another table and they wave at each other,” he said. “That would have been amazing, but it didn’t come to pass.”

Reid managed both Mercury and John. He is portrayed by Aidan Gillen in Bohemian Rhapsody and Richard Madden in Rocketman.

As for why the bold idea never came to be, the filmmaker worried it would have been too distracting for the audience, joking that the films are not part of a franchise like instalments in the Marvel Cinematic Universe are.

“It would’ve been a little too knowing,” the 53-year-old added. “I’m not looking to set out to make a cinematic universe.”

Fletcher served as director on both films, having taken over from Bryan Singer on Bohemian Rhapsody after he was fired.

At Rocketman’s Cannes Film Festival premiere, producer Matthew Vaughn told Screen Daily he’d put Fletcher forward as Singer’s replacement as he figured it would be good preparation for him before he started on Rocketman.

“‘Dexter, you’re going to a 1970s biopic university, find out how to do it, how not to do it, and experiment on their dime,'” he commented. “It was really helpful for all of us – Dexter got to flex his muscles before going into the main race.”

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Taron Egerton to keep beloved Rocketman jacket

Taron Egerton will get to keep one piece of movie memorabilia from his Elton John biopic, Rocketman.Directed by Dexter Fletcher and written by Lee Hall, the film sees the Kingsman: The Secret Service actor portray British superstar Elton John, with the…

Taron Egerton will get to keep one piece of movie memorabilia from his Elton John biopic, Rocketman.

Directed by Dexter Fletcher and written by Lee Hall, the film sees the Kingsman: The Secret Service actor portray British superstar Elton John, with the plot delving into his early days as a prodigy at the Royal Academy of Music, through to his musical partnership with Bernie Taupin, as well as his struggles with substance abuse, depression, and acceptance of his sexual orientation.

Egerton really enjoyed getting to dress up in the rock icon’s outrageous costumes for his stage performances on screen, but there was one particular jacket he had been keeping his eye on in the hopes of taking it home at the end of the production.

“There was one thing I really wanted – in the trailer, I sing Tiny Dancer in the movie, and I wear this denim jacket with all of these stitched on, kinda patterns,” he explained in a recent interview on U.S. talk show Live with Kelly and Ryan.

Egerton’s request was initially met with a little reluctance from filmmakers, but his perseverance has since paid off, and he will soon get to add the costume to his own wardrobe.

“I’ve been campaigning for six months for it and I got the email the other day – I’m getting it on 7 June!” the 29-year-old smiled.

Previously, Egerton opened up about the extravagant ensembles he wears in Rocketman and praised costume designer Julian Day’s “brilliant” work on the film.

“Julian Day is definitely the most brilliant designer I’ve ever worked with. He’s incredibly collaborative, and he understands the relationship between the costumes and performance,” he commented in a preview featurette. “I have found the process of inhabiting Elton John and his wardrobe incredibly liberating.”

Rocketman, also starring Jamie Bell, Bryce Dallas Howard and Richard Madden, is now showing in cinemas.

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Dexter Fletcher keen to tackle Madonna biopic

Rocketman director Dexter Fletcher has Madonna’s life story in his sights as his next big music biopic.The actor-turned-filmmaker is currently riding high on the success of the Elton John picture, which stars Taron Egerton as the Tiny Dancer hitmaker. …

Rocketman director Dexter Fletcher has Madonna’s life story in his sights as his next big music biopic.

The actor-turned-filmmaker is currently riding high on the success of the Elton John picture, which stars Taron Egerton as the Tiny Dancer hitmaker. He also stepped in to complete filming on last year’s box office smash Bohemian Rhapsody, which won four Oscars, after Bryan Singer was fired mid-way through the filming of the Queen movie.

And now Dexter believes he’s found the perfect musical muse for his next flick.

“I’d do Madonna! That sounds like a real rollercoaster ride! It would be extraordinary,” he exclaimed to Gay Star News. “I don’t know how happy she’d be about that… but what an extraordinary life that would be. If I was to tackle any other icon like that, it would be her. She’s extraordinary.”

But the Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels actor may have a hard time winning the iconic pop star’s approval; in 2017 she attacked screenwriter Elyse Hollander’s plans for a Universal project, to be titled Blond Ambition, and appeared to denounce the film on Instagram.

“Nobody knows what I know and what I have seen,” she stated. “Only I can tell my story. Anyone else who tries is a charlatan and a fool. Looking for instant gratification without doing the work. This is a disease in our society.”

Blond Ambition remains one of the top scripts in Hollywood without a producer.

However, both Rocketman, which is currently winning rave reviews from critics and cinemagoers alike, and Bohemian Rhapsody, were made in collaboration with the artists themselves.

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Mr Porter launch Rocketman-inspired capsule

Upcoming Elton John biopic Rocketman has served as inspiration for a new Mr Porter capsule collection.Rocketman, which stars Taron Egerton as the Tiny Dancer hitmaker, had its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival last week, and hits cinemas from …

Upcoming Elton John biopic Rocketman has served as inspiration for a new Mr Porter capsule collection.

Rocketman, which stars Taron Egerton as the Tiny Dancer hitmaker, had its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival last week, and hits cinemas from around the globe from 22 May.

Taking cues from Dexter Fletcher’s movie, designers from Mr Porter’s in-house menswear label Kingsman have created a 16-piece line, capturing the spirit of Rocketman.

“Double-breasted tailoring is the epitome of the Kingsman brand – as the Rocketman biopic is set throughout the 1970s where double-breasted styles were at their most popular, it was a no brainer to highlight this and create a capsule collection inspired by the fabrics, prints and styles of the era, as worn by the character John Reid. The Rocketman by Kingsman capsule has been a great way to further Mr Porter’s existing partnership with Kingsman director Matthew Vaughn, who is a producer on the Rocketman film,” said Sam Kershaw, buying manager for Mr Porter, in a statement.

Among the pieces on offer is a blue velvet tuxedo jacket with bright red lining, a paisley printed dress shirt with a pointed collar and a vibrant selection of colourful silk ties.

And alongside the sharply tailored looks is a pocket square by Kingsman and Turnbull & Asser and a pair of Chelsea boots by Kingsman and George Cleverley.

Prices start at £75 ($96) for the pocket square and go up to £1,250 ($1,593) for the velvet tuxedo jacket. The range is available from Monday.

It marks the latest launch in Mr Porter’s Kingsman’s ‘costume to collection’ project. Previously, the e-tailer has launched lines inspired by Kingsman: The Secret Service and Kingsman: The Golden Circle, both of which also starred Taron.

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Taron Egerton praises Rocketman costume designer’s ‘brilliant’ outfits

Taron Egerton has lauded costume designer Julian Day’s “brilliant” work on Rocketman.Directed by Dexter Fletcher and written by Lee Hall, the upcoming film follows British superstar Elton John’s early days as a prodigy at the Royal Academy of Music, th…

Taron Egerton has lauded costume designer Julian Day’s “brilliant” work on Rocketman.

Directed by Dexter Fletcher and written by Lee Hall, the upcoming film follows British superstar Elton John’s early days as a prodigy at the Royal Academy of Music, through to his musical partnership with Bernie Taupin, as well as his struggles with substance abuse, depression, and acceptance of his sexual orientation.

Elton is played by Taron, and the Welsh star has now gushed over the extravagant ensembles that he sports throughout the film.

“Julian Day is definitely the most brilliant designer I’ve ever worked with. He’s incredibly collaborative, and he understands the relationship between the costumes and performance,” he commented in a preview featurette released by Paramount Pictures. “I have found the process of inhabiting Elton John and his wardrobe incredibly liberating.”

Elsewhere in the clip, Julian shared that he used Elton’s own costumes as a starting point but tried to put a spin on them whenever possible.

The costumer, who has previously worked on projects such as Bohemian Rhapsody with Dexter and Robin Hood with Taron, also gave fans a glimpse at one ensemble which was inspired by the singer’s 1973 album Goodbye Yellow Brick Road and the 1939 Hollywood classic, The Wizard of Oz.

“What we talked about was using the basis of Elton’s clothes to create our own look for him. There’s over 50 pairs of shoes, over 50 pairs of glasses, massive, massive amount of material,” he commented. “I really loved the Yellow Brick Road outfit, and I obviously looked at The Wizard of Oz outfit, so he’s got a blue suit with red shoes on (which are) made of Swarovski crystals. The shirt is made of silver fabric which is like the Tin Man. He’s got a straw hat for the Scarecrow, and a big fake fur coat for the (Cowardly) Lion.”

Rocketman, also starring Jamie Bell, Bryce Dallas Howard and Richard Madden, is due to hit cinemas in late May.

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Taron Egerton’s singing skills helped Dexter Fletcher make Rocketman a musical

Taron Egerton’s vocal abilities helped director Dexter Fletcher realise his vision of making his Elton John biopic a musical.Dexter, who helped turn another rock movie, Bohemian Rhapsody, into a blockbuster success after replacing fired director Brya…

Taron Egerton’s vocal abilities helped director Dexter Fletcher realise his vision of making his Elton John biopic a musical.

Dexter, who helped turn another rock movie, Bohemian Rhapsody, into a blockbuster success after replacing fired director Bryan Singer late in production, charts Elton’s path to global success in his new movie Rocketman.

To capture the music legend’s outlandish life on screen, the filmmaker wanted the feature to feel more like musical theatre – so fans felt like they were on stage – and key to this was casting an actor with a great voice.

“We always set out to make a musical, and if you go and see a musical anywhere, the actor sings, people sing,” he told Collider. “If you go and see something on stage you would expect the actor to sing. People don’t come out and mime.”

Praising the Welsh star, he revealed Taron’s vocal talents meant he could quickly pivot from dramatic dialogue to performances of Elton’s iconic tracks, just like in a musical.

“What it allows me to do with someone like Taron, who has this incredible instrument, is that we can have a dramatic scene and segue seamlessly into a musical number, because then that song can come out of a dramatic emotional moment and he can just launch into the song,” he explained.

During the chat, Dexter also revealed that fans can expect to hear a vast array of Elton’s hits during the movie, as more than 20 feature, including a lengthy rendition of the title track.

Rocketman debuts in cinemas next month (May19).

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Taron Egerton: ‘Rocketman sex scene was pretty explicit’

Taron Egerton has insisted the sex scenes in Elton John biopic Rocketman “push the envelope”.The Welsh actor and Bodyguard star Richard Madden, who plays Elton’s lover and manager John Reid, made headlines when it was reported that Paramount Pictures b…

Taron Egerton has insisted the sex scenes in Elton John biopic Rocketman “push the envelope”.

The Welsh actor and Bodyguard star Richard Madden, who plays Elton’s lover and manager John Reid, made headlines when it was reported that Paramount Pictures bosses allegedly demanded one raunchy sequence, which reportedly shows Elton and Reid “writhing on a bed” with fully exposed “derrieres” on display, be dropped from Dexter Fletcher’s movie.

Speaking to British GQ magazine, the Kingsman: The Secret Service star insisted that the scenes do push the boundaries, but they are necessary to accurately portray Elton’s life as a gay man.

“Well, the stuff we shot was pretty explicit,” the 29-year-old said. “I mean, that’s why I made the film. Those scenes are desperately important when you have an icon of that magnitude, who means so much to one community.

“(Elton) has been such a standard bearer. And for me, especially as a heterosexual actor, not to push the envelope as far as I can or try to make it a wholehearted celebration of being a gay man would be wrong.”

Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, which was directed by Fletcher after Bryan Singer was fired in December 2017, was criticised for toning down Freddie Mercury’s homosexuality. And according to editors at the Daily Mail, studio bosses are keen for Rocketman to get a PG-13 rating, which is equivalent to a 12A rating in the U.K, and emulate that movie’s huge success.

However, Taron made it clear to GQ that he was more concerned about telling Elton’s story truthfully than box office takings.

“It’s a studio movie. It’s Elton John. We’ve got to own that. I don’t care how well the film does in Russia. It doesn’t matter. It can’t matter… What’s an extra $25 million at the box office? What are you willing to do for that? Sacrifice sleeping at night because you watered the whole thing down?” he continued, adding that the sex isn’t “gratuitous”, but Elton losing his virginity to Reid “is an important part of the story.”

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Studio bosses call for nude sex scene to be cut from Rocketman – report

Studio executives have reportedly called for a nude sex scene to be cut from Elton John biopic Rocketman.Directed by Dexter Fletcher and written by Lee Hall, the upcoming film follows the British superstar’s early days as a prodigy at the Royal Academy…

Studio executives have reportedly called for a nude sex scene to be cut from Elton John biopic Rocketman.

Directed by Dexter Fletcher and written by Lee Hall, the upcoming film follows the British superstar’s early days as a prodigy at the Royal Academy of Music, through to his musical partnership with Bernie Taupin, as well as his struggles with substance abuse, depression, and acceptance of his sexual orientation.

Elton is played by Welsh star Taron Egerton, while Richard Madden takes on the part of his former lover and long-time manager John Reid, however, editors at The Daily Mail have now reported that Paramount Pictures bosses have demanded one raunchy sequence be dropped from the movie. According to writer Baz Bamigboye, the “tastefully done” scene shows John and Reid “writhing on a bed” with fully exposed “derrieres” on display.

“Nonetheless, Paramount are forcing the director to cut the scene so it will have an American PG 13 rating,” he claimed, adding that the PG 13 rating is equivalent to a 12A rating in the U.K.

In addition, The Daily Mail alleged that the moment will now be reduced to a “fully dressed warm hello,” even though John was fine with the film receiving a restricted rating and apparently instructed the producers and director at the start of production: “Tell it all. Go as R-rated as you need to.”

The reason for studio leaders wanting to tone down references to the Sacrifice singer’s relationships may have to do with the success of 2018 Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, in which Fletcher took over as director following the firing of Bryan Singer in December 2017.

Though the feature received mixed reviews from critics, especially in relation to the portrayal of frontman Freddie Mercury’s sexuality, it was a major box office success and won four Oscars, with lead actor Rami Malek taking home the prize for Best Actor.

Representatives for Paramount Pictures have not yet commented on the report.

Rocketman, also starring Jamie Bell and Bryce Dallas Howard, is set to hit cinemas in May.

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