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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Cynthia Erivo and Elton John to perform at 2020 Oscars

Cynthia Erivo, Elton John, and Idina Menzel will perform at the 2020 Academy Awards. Oscars show producers Lynette Howell Taylor and Stephanie Allain announced on Thursday that all of the tracks nominated for Best Original Song will be performed durin…

Cynthia Erivo, Elton John, and Idina Menzel will perform at the 2020 Academy Awards.

Oscars show producers Lynette Howell Taylor and Stephanie Allain announced on Thursday that all of the tracks nominated for Best Original Song will be performed during the ceremony on 9 February at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.

They revealed that Erivo, who is also nominated for Best Actress for her performance in Harriet, will perform Stand Up, a song she co-wrote with Joshuah Brian Campbell for the Harriet Tubman biopic. Her fellow performers include John, who will sing (I’m Gonna) Love Me Again, which recently won the Golden Globe, from his biopic Rocketman, and Menzel, who will take to the stage with Norwegian singer AURORA to perform Into the Unknown, which her character Elsa sang in animated sequel Frozen II. The song was written by songwriters Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, who have previously won the Best Original Song Oscar for Let It Go from the original Frozen and Remember Me from Pixar animation Coco.

In addition, This Is Us actress Chrissy Metz will sing I’m Standing With You, which was written by Diane Warren, from her movie Breakthrough, and composer Randy Newman will perform I Can’t Let You Throw Yourself Away from Pixar animation Toy Story 4. Newman is also nominated in the Best Original Score category for his work on Noah Baumbach’s Marriage Story.

Metz took to Instagram to express her excitement about the news and wrote, “When I tell you I don’t know what to say, I mean it! Honoured and elated to sing @warren_diane’s beautiful and timely song at the 92nd Oscars! See you all Sunday, February 9th!”

The ceremony will also feature a special appearance by Questlove and a guest-conducted segment by Eímear Noone, who will become the first woman to conduct during an Oscars telecast.

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Taylor Swift has ‘no complaints’ about Cats

Taylor Swift has “no complaints” about appearing in box office flop Cats. The music superstar played Bombalurina alongside Idris Elba, James Corden, Judi Dench, and Jennifer Hudson in Tom Hooper’s live-action adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s long-r…

Taylor Swift has “no complaints” about appearing in box office flop Cats.

The music superstar played Bombalurina alongside Idris Elba, James Corden, Judi Dench, and Jennifer Hudson in Tom Hooper’s live-action adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s long-running musical, while she also teamed up with the theatre mogul to create the original song Beautiful Ghosts.

The movie received overwhelmingly negative reviews from critics ahead of its release in December and is considered a box office bomb, having so far grossed $61 million (£48 million) on a budget rumoured to be as high as $100 million (£77 million).

When asked about Cats in an interview with Variety, Taylor insisted the divisive reaction hasn’t taken away from the positive experience she had filming it.

“I’m happy to be here, happy to be nominated, and I had a really great time working on that weird-a*s movie,” she declared. “I’m not gonna retroactively decide that it wasn’t the best experience. I never would have met Andrew Lloyd Webber or gotten to see how he works, and now he’s my buddy. I got to work with the sickest dancers and performers. No complaints.”

Her co-stars have remained quiet about the film since it was released in cinemas. However, following early reactions from the critics, Jason Derulo defended the movie, telling TMZ.com that “reviews don’t matter”.

“It’s an incredible piece of art done by some of the best people in the world,” he said. “I am just excited for the people to actually see it because reviewers, I mean, what the hell do they know? Have they made a film ever in their life?”

Swift and Lloyd Webber were nominated for a Golden Globe for Beautiful Ghosts but were beaten to the Best Original Song prize by Elton John and Bernie Taupin for (I’m Gonna) Love Me Again from Rocketman.

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Blink-182 selling special merchandise for Australia’s bushfire relief efforts

Blink-182 have raised more than $20,000 (£15,400) in aid of Australia’s bushfire relief efforts from sales of a line of charity merchandise.The All the Small Things stars recently unveiled the new clothing items on social media, revealing they wanted …

Blink-182 have raised more than $20,000 (£15,400) in aid of Australia’s bushfire relief efforts from sales of a line of charity merchandise.

The All the Small Things stars recently unveiled the new clothing items on social media, revealing they wanted to raise funds for the Australia Zoo in Queensland to treat injured wildlife after learning an estimated one billion animals have been killed in the devastating blazes to date.

“Australia is being ravaged by deadly fires, and we just feel so helpless,” they tweeted. “We put out a new merch line + donating all proceeds to charity. Let’s do our part to make sure everyone, the environment, plus all of these kangaroos & koala bears are safe.”

The new merchandise consists of black T-shirt and a black top with long white sleeves, with both pieces bearing the band’s name and a design featuring a koala, a kangaroo, the Australian flag, and a firefighter.

All proceeds from the sale of the special tops will be donated to Australia Zoo.

Fans rushed to purchase the special apparel, and 24 hours later, singer and bassist Mark Hoppus revealed their efforts were quickly paying off.

“Thanks to your support and generosity we’ve already raised more than $20,000 to help the animals devastated by the fires in Australia,” he shared. “Let’s keep it going!”

Blink-182 aren’t the only stars to do their bit for relief and recovery efforts – Elton John, Pink, Nicole Kidman, Chris Hemsworth, and Leonardo DiCaprio are among the celebrities who have made big donations to the cause.

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Elton John: ‘Taron Egerton deserves an Oscar for Rocketman’

Elton John has called on Academy Awards voters to give the Best Actor prize to Taron Egerton for his performance in Rocketman.Taron has earned critical acclaim for his role as the music icon in the biopic and was a surprise winner in the Best Actor in …

Elton John has called on Academy Awards voters to give the Best Actor prize to Taron Egerton for his performance in Rocketman.

Taron has earned critical acclaim for his role as the music icon in the biopic and was a surprise winner in the Best Actor in a Motion Picture, Comedy or Musical category at the Golden Globe Awards on Sunday.

Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter’s Awards Chatter podcast, Elton expressed his hope that members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will reward him with an Oscar.

“Taron – I mean, when I was looking at him, I was thinking, ‘That’s me! That’s me!'” he said. “I just think it’s phenomenal, and I really think he deserves the Oscar above anyone I’ve seen this year.”

The Welsh actor performed all of the Your Song star’s hits in the film, which gave a candid depiction of Elton’s career and his battles with alcohol and drug abuse.

Expressing his pride that the movie was a huge box office success, earning almost $200 million (£152 million) worldwide, the 72-year-old gushed: “I wanted to show the whole journey and the perils of it and the redemption.

“And, (impressively) for an R-rated film, it did $100 million (£76 million) in America. I actually can honestly say I wouldn’t change a thing about it.”

Meanwhile, Taron’s vocal coach Michael Dore said he was “really proud” of the “down to earth” star’s success.

“He’s a good guy, a very sweet guy… so amazing in the film,” he told the BBC.

The nominees for the 2020 Academy Awards will be announced on 13 January.

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Taron Egerton thanks Elton John after winning Golden Globe for Rocketman

Taron Egerton touchingly thanked Elton John after he won a Golden Globe for his role as the music icon in Rocketman.The actor beat the likes of Eddie Murphy, Leonardo DiCaprio, Daniel Craig, and Roman Griffin Davis to pick up the Best Actor in a Musica…

Taron Egerton touchingly thanked Elton John after he won a Golden Globe for his role as the music icon in Rocketman.

The actor beat the likes of Eddie Murphy, Leonardo DiCaprio, Daniel Craig, and Roman Griffin Davis to pick up the Best Actor in a Musical/Comedy accolade at the star-studded ceremony on Sunday, and looked stunned when his name was called out.

“I really wish I’d written something,” he said, as he became emotional on stage. “I’m so honoured to be nominated alongside a bunch of legitimate icons.”

Taron went on to thank Elton’s husband, David Furnish, for believing “I could play your husband”, and said the lead part in Dexter Fletcher’s musical drama has “changed my life”.

“It’s been the best experience of my life,” the 30-year-old continued, before directly addressing the Tiny Dancer hitmaker in the audience. “To Elton John, thank you for the music, for living a life less ordinary and thank you for being my friend.”

The star, who attended the Golden Globes with his family, including his little sisters Mari and Rosie, finished his speech by dedicating the accolade to his mother.

“My mother is in the room somewhere. This is for you, mam,” he sweetly added.

Taron’s win was the second award of the night for Rocketman, after Elton and his songwriting partner Bernie Taupin won the honour for Best Original Song, I’m Gonna Love Me Again, for the critically-acclaimed movie.

Elton’s husband David, who served as producer on the rock biopic, later took to Instagram to pay tribute to Taron, and thanked officials at the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for acknowledging the Welshman.

“Taron so richly deserves this accolade. He worked b**ody hard and showed extraordinary courage stepping into Elton’s formidable platform boots. He truly brought Elton’s indomitable spirit to life and made his and Bernie’s songs soar,” he gushed.

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Legendary photographer Terry O’Neill dies

Models and celebrities have paid tribute to photographer Terry O’Neill, who has died at the age of 81.A representative for Iconic Images, which licensed O’Neill’s pictures, announced over the weekend that the photographer had passed away on Saturday ni…

Models and celebrities have paid tribute to photographer Terry O’Neill, who has died at the age of 81.

A representative for Iconic Images, which licensed O’Neill’s pictures, announced over the weekend that the photographer had passed away on Saturday night following a long battle with cancer.

“Terry was a class act, quick-witted and filled with charm,” they commented. “Anyone who was lucky enough to know or work with him can attest to his generosity and modesty.

“As one of the most iconic photographers of the last 60 years, his legendary pictures will forever remain imprinted in our memories as well as in our hearts and minds.”

O’Neill rose to prominence in the ’60s, becoming one of the most sought-after photographers in London and working with subjects including The Beatles, Rolling Stones, and Judy Garland.

Over the next five decades, he developed close working relationships with pop stars like Elton John and David Bowie, and also shot members of Britain’s royal family, including Queen Elizabeth II, and several statesmen and women, like Nelson Mandela.

Among his most notable recent works was an image of Amy Winehouse at the height of her fame in 2008.

Accordingly, a number of celebrities have honoured O’Neill’s memory, with Kate Moss posting a black-and-white image from an early 1990s photoshoot on her Instagram page and captioning it, “Farewell Terry,” alongside a red heart emoji.

Actress Joan Collins added, “So sorry to hear about the death of the talented #terryoneill – he photographed me several times and was always fun, entertaining and a great photographer,” and music icon John shared one of the iconic images O’Neill had taken of him during a concert at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles back in 1975.

“Terry O’Neill took the most iconic photographs of me throughout the years, completely capturing my moods,” he praised. “He was brilliant, funny and I absolutely loved his company. A real character who has now passed on. RIP you wonderful man.”

O’Neill was last seen publicly in October, when he was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for services to photography by Prince William at Buckingham Palace.

He is survived by his third wife, Laraine Ashton, two children from his first marriage to actress Vera Day, and Liam, a son shared with his second wife, American actress Faye Dunaway.

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Elton John ‘disappointed’ by The Lion King remake

Elton John has mauled The Lion King remake by describing the live-action Jon Favreau movie as a “huge disappointment”.The rocker teamed up with Tim Rice to create the soundtrack for the original Disney animated classic and many of their songs made it o…

Elton John has mauled The Lion King remake by describing the live-action Jon Favreau movie as a “huge disappointment”.

The rocker teamed up with Tim Rice to create the soundtrack for the original Disney animated classic and many of their songs made it onto the 2019 film’s soundtrack, along with one tune Elton wrote just for the reboot.

But now he admits he wasn’t overly impressed with the new movie, which featured the voices of Donald Glover, Seth Rogen, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Billy Eichner, John Oliver, and Beyonce.

“The new version of The Lion King was a huge disappointment to me, because I believe they messed the music up. Music was so much a part of the original and the music in the current film didn’t have the same impact… The magic and joy were lost,” he told British GQ magazine.

“The soundtrack hasn’t had nearly the same impact in the charts that it had 25 years ago, when it was the bestselling album of the year. The new soundtrack fell out of the charts so quickly, despite the massive box office success.”

And Elton suggested that the soundtrack for the live-action remake, which featured new music from Beyonce, flopped because he wasn’t asked to be a bigger part of it.

“I wish I’d been invited to the party more, but the creative vision for the film and its music was different this time around – and I wasn’t really welcomed or treated with the same level of respect,” he added. “That makes me extremely sad.”

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Elton John unveils new song for The Lion King soundtrack

Elton John has written a new song for the soundtrack of Disney’s The Lion King remake.The tune, titled Never Too Late, was penned by the British rocker and Grammy Award-winning lyricist Tim Rice, who previously created the musical numbers for the 1994 …

Elton John has written a new song for the soundtrack of Disney’s The Lion King remake.

The tune, titled Never Too Late, was penned by the British rocker and Grammy Award-winning lyricist Tim Rice, who previously created the musical numbers for the 1994 original together. Described as an “uplifting” song, Never Too Late has been performed by John with backing vocals from an African choir and is set to appear during the film’s end credits.

The soundtrack also features new versions of memorable songs from the animated film, such as a I Just Can’t Wait to Be King, Circle of Life, and Can You Feel the Love Tonight, which have been given a new lease of life from performers like Beyonce, Donald Glover, Brown Lindiwe Mkhize, Lebo M. and John Oliver.

“Just hearing that music strikes you deeply,” director Jon Favreau said in a statement. “Even if you don’t know the film or stage show, there is a spiritual strength in it. But if you know the film, and if you grew up with this music – now it can suddenly and immediately evoke the story itself, as well as all the connected memories and emotions that you have from your own past experience with The Lion King, or from the time of your life that you were in, or your childhood, or the life events it’s connected to.”

A veil of secrecy still hangs over the 14th track on the album, with many fans speculating this is the song Beyonce, who voices Nala in the film, has reportedly written for the movie.

Favreau recently revealed Beyonce “performed and wrote” the new song “in the spirit of the production” and teamed up with composer Hans Zimmer to “bring this new piece of music into a film where there’s already a very established musical personality to the piece”.

The digital soundtrack is to be released on 11 July, while the physical album is set to hit shelves on 19 July, the same day The Lion King opens in U.S. cinemas.

And should Never Too Late be a hit, it’s possible John will have two songs nominated in the Best Original Song category at the Oscars, as he and his longtime lyricist Bernie Taupin also created (I’m Gonna) Love Me Again for the soundtrack of his biographical movie Rocketman.

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Elton John unveils new song for The Lion King soundtrack

Elton John has written a new song for the soundtrack of Disney’s The Lion King remake.The tune, titled Never Too Late, was penned by the British rocker and Grammy Award-winning lyricist Tim Rice, who previously created the musical numbers for the 1994 …

Elton John has written a new song for the soundtrack of Disney’s The Lion King remake.

The tune, titled Never Too Late, was penned by the British rocker and Grammy Award-winning lyricist Tim Rice, who previously created the musical numbers for the 1994 original together. Described as an “uplifting” song, Never Too Late has been performed by John with backing vocals from an African choir and is set to appear during the film’s end credits.

The soundtrack also features new versions of memorable songs from the animated film, such as a I Just Can’t Wait to Be King, Circle of Life, and Can You Feel the Love Tonight, which have been given a new lease of life from performers like Beyonce, Donald Glover, Brown Lindiwe Mkhize, Lebo M. and John Oliver.

“Just hearing that music strikes you deeply,” director Jon Favreau said in a statement. “Even if you don’t know the film or stage show, there is a spiritual strength in it. But if you know the film, and if you grew up with this music – now it can suddenly and immediately evoke the story itself, as well as all the connected memories and emotions that you have from your own past experience with The Lion King, or from the time of your life that you were in, or your childhood, or the life events it’s connected to.”

A veil of secrecy still hangs over the 14th track on the album, with many fans speculating this is the song Beyonce, who voices Nala in the film, has reportedly written for the movie.

Favreau recently revealed Beyonce “performed and wrote” the new song “in the spirit of the production” and teamed up with composer Hans Zimmer to “bring this new piece of music into a film where there’s already a very established musical personality to the piece”.

The digital soundtrack is to be released on 11 July, while the physical album is set to hit shelves on 19 July, the same day The Lion King opens in U.S. cinemas.

And should Never Too Late be a hit, it’s possible John will have two songs nominated in the Best Original Song category at the Oscars, as he and his longtime lyricist Bernie Taupin also created (I’m Gonna) Love Me Again for the soundtrack of his biographical movie Rocketman.

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