Lee Hall

At this point, it feels a little foolish to doubt Tom Hardy‘s transformative properties. Pick any two films from his filmography and you’ll find yourself faced with two drastically different Hardys. He may be rail-thin or bulging with muscle. Soft-spoken or screamingly incoherent. Like snowflakes, no two Tom Hardy performances are ever quite the same. So when the news comes in, as it has (via Deadline Hollywood), that Hardy has officially signed on to play Elton John in the biopic Rocket Man, all we can really do is shrug our shoulders and say “yeah, that sounds about right.” Before too long, Hardy will have made himself over in the image of the famous musician, sporting massive sunglasses and sequin-covered clothing, and will probably learn a thing or two about playing the piano. Although he may not be doing too much singing – according to the official press release, the real Elton John will be re-recording his own songs for use in the film.

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Tom Hardy

Yup, this one is certainly unexpected. HitFix reports that the leading role in the upcoming Elton John biopic, Rocketman, is currently “out to Tom Hardy,” which the outlet clarifies does not “mean they’ve made him a formal offer yet, or even that he’s interested,” but it does mean that the Rocketman team is interested in the star.  John himself is serving as an executive producer on the project, which is coming to us from director Michael Gracey and screenwriter Lee Hall, and has been billed as “a biographical musical fantasy that weaves together the life of Sir Elton John and his music.” What’s most weird about the Hardy news is that, back in January of 2012, John himself announced that he wanted Justin Timberlake to play him in the biopic, a pick that certainly makes a hell of a lot more sense. Timberlake is clearly a busy guy, but playing John seems like a totally natural fit, so it’s strange that it hasn’t materialized and that Hardy is already seemingly in the mix. We’ll be keeping a close watch on this one. Until then, there’s always Gnomeo and Juliet: Sherlock Gnomes.

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These kind of wish fulfillment new stories are not usually worth their weight in magic beans, but there’s a sort of sense that comes with the news that Elton John wants Justin Timberlake to play the lead role in the movie about himself that he’s working on. Of course, it also sounds a bit like Bruce Villanche wanting Denzel Washington to star in Villanche: The Movie, but Timberlake is a highly talented singer and actor who has appeared as John before in a music video. Put a shaggy wig on him, and they could be brothers. The kind where you might not guess immediately that they were related. John also announced to the LA Times that the film project, written by Lee Hall (Billy Elliot), has found a director. Unfortunately, the production was looking at Baz Luhrmann (due to the reportedly trippy, magical feel of it all), but he wasn’t available. Hopefully, we’ll find out which Luhrmann-like entity they hired instead. As for Timberlake, this is a shout into the wilderness for John, as the actor hasn’t commented and may not even know he’s on the wish list. But if he doesn’t do it, can I suggest either Eminem or Ben Folds? Also, when does Villanche: The Movie come out?

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War Horse is a sprawling war epic that’s so old-fashioned it belongs in a museum. Not only has director Steven Spielberg painstakingly recreated the look and feel of a classical picture of this scope, imbued with a heavy dose of mid-century British formalism, he’s essentially made a carbon copy of a David Lean movie. Such a nostalgic enterprise would be welcome if it told a story worth telling, with the strong, determined characters and bold cinematic brushstrokes of a Lean picture. Spielberg’s film does nothing of the sort — it’s a stodgy, ridiculous movie with a horse that simultaneously serves as an allegory for the bond that unites all mankind and a symbol of profound, idealized purity.

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