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June 04, 2019

Here's the Scoop...

Robert Pattinson has officially been cast Batman following a casting process that also involved Nicholas Hoult, according to a report.

Variety reported that Pattinson will portray the caped crusader in director Matt Reeves' upcoming film The Batman and has closed a deal.

Deadline has stated that Warner Bros. has approved of Pattinson's casting after being torn between the actor and Hoult. Pattinson and Hoult were previously on a short-list to become Batman alongside Armie Hammer and Aaron Taylor-Johnson.

Pattinson, best known for his role as Edward Cullen in the Twilight series, is taking over as the DC Comics superhero from Ben Affleck.

Affleck previously starred as Batman in 2016's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, briefly in 2016's Suicide Squad and in 2017's Justice League. Reeves signed onto the project after Affleck stepped down from the directors chair in January 2017. Affleck then exited the role this past January.

The Batman is set to arrive in theaters on June 25, 2021 with pre-production expected to start this summer. Reeves previously helmed Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and its sequel, War for the Planet of the Apes.

Pattinson has appeared in several independent films after appearing in Twilight. His next big role will be in director Christopher Nolan's espionage thriller Tenet, which will arrive in theaters on July 17, 2020.

Be Well,
Steve


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Elton John's road to 'Rocketman' was a fight for 'honesty'

Closeout EventRocketman releases Friday, said it took decades for him to warm to the idea of a movie about his life, and years more to make sure the pieces were properly assembled to make certain it was done correctly.

The singer, born Reginald Kenneth Dwight, said it wasn't until after the birth of his sons -- Zachary in 2010 and Elijah in 2013 -- that he felt a need to chronicle his life story.

"I did start thinking about them in 40 years' time, being able to see or read my version of my life ... I liked the idea of them having a film and an autobiography, where I was honest." John wrote in an editorial for The Guardian.

He said that desire for honesty caused further delays in the film's genesis.

"With the film ... I'm as honest as I can possibly be," he told The Sun newspaper. "There's no holds barred."

John said he was adamant the film carry an R rating so as not to shy away from his struggles with drug addiction and promiscuous sex.

"Some studios wanted to tone down the sex and drugs so the film would get a PG-13 rating. But I just haven't led a PG-13 rated life," he said.

A script was commissioned from Lee Hall, and John said he was pleased at how the screenplay echoed the darker moments of 1997 documentary Tantrums and Tiaras, directed by his now-husband David Furnish.

"There are moments in it -- and moments in the film -- where I'm completely disgusting and awful, but then, at my worst, I was disgusting and awful, and there's no reason to pretend otherwise," he said.

John said he also heard concerns about the unconventional nature of the script, which called for a jukebox musical approach and the use of fantasy aspects such as a scene where he floats in the air during a performance.

He said the early skeptics included his writing partner, Bernie Taupin, who is played in the film by Jamie Bell.

"He read the script and he didn't like the fantasy aspects of it ... Then he saw it and completely got it," John wrote.

Rocketman director Dexter Fletcher explained the fantasy aspects of the film were a necessary to bringing the singer's personality to the screen.

"Elton is all about fantasy and imagination and magic," Fletcher told Rolling Stone. "We wanted to use his songs to elevate this to be more than just a biopic. We wanted to make a magical fantasy that tells the story of his life, or at least elements of his life."

"The film asks you to take an imaginative leap, as you would if you went to the theater," he said.

The musical approach and fantastical elements draw a stark contrast between Rocketman and last year's Bohemian Rhapsody, which chronicled the life of Queen singer Freddie Mercury.

The temptation to draw parallels between the two rock music biopics is strong, with many critics comparing the films in their reviews. The two movies share a director in Fletcher, who stepped in to finish Bohemian Rhapsody following director Bryan Singer's exit, and even have a character in common -- John Reid, played in Bohemian Rhapsody by Aiden Gillan and in Rocketman by fellow Game of Thrones alum Richard Madden.

Fletcher said the films took very different approaches to their subject matter.

"Bohemian Rhapsody was the PG version of that story," he told IndieWire. "R-rated was always part of our aim, our vision [for Rocketman] ... There's quite a lot of R content."

Fletcher said he felt a stronger emotional connection to Rocketman.

"I wanted to do a good job and bring it home ... I drove it and propelled it, but was not emotionally attached to it," he told IndieWire of the Queen film.

Another major difference was Bohemian Rhapsody featured star Rami Malek lip-syncing along with recordings of Mercury, while the singing in Rocketman is performed by star Taron Egerton in character as the legendary singer.

"Our movie is a different animal. Our movie is a musical," Egerton told Vanity Fair of comparisons between the biopics. "It requires an actor who can sing in the lead role. For a biopic, that's not necessary."

John said it was Egerton's singing that convinced him the actor was right for the role. Egerton had previous experience singing John's music, having recorded "I'm Still Standing" for the animated film Sing.

"As soon as I met him, I felt there was something special there," John said in a promotional interview released by Paramount. "When I first heard him sing 'Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me,' I was flabbergasted."

"Our songs are not easy to sing, they're not," John told Entertainment Tonight.

He credited the soundtrack's success to musical director Giles Martin, son of legendary music producer George Martin, who worked with John on several occasions in the 1990s. John said Martin helped Egerton find his rock 'n' roll voice.

"When I look at him singing, and when I look at him acting, I am not looking at Taron Egerton. I'm looking at me," John said.

John did not spend much time on set, allowing husband and fellow producer Furnish to serve as his eyes and ears during the production.

"I gave some suggestions, saw a few daily rushes, said yay or nay to some important decisions ... I figured it would be uncomfortable for everyone to have the person the film was about lurking around," he said.

John said he didn't see the completed movie until the May 23 premiere at Cannes Film Festival. He said the end result was a film that met all of his expectations.

"Even if the movie doesn't make one penny at the box office -- which will kill [Paramount CEO] Jim Gianopulos -- it is the movie I wanted to make."

Rocketman hits theaters nationwide Friday. The film soundtrack is available now on CD and streaming services.

LOOSE LIPS:

"Don't use a fake ID to buy wine and then try to pay with a check. I'm aware that no one pays by check these days, but that's just more reason not to do it. That'll be extra confusing."
--Katie Holmes, on the (literal) importance of being yourself, during her moving speech at the University of Toledo commencement ceremony



??? Guess Who ???

Which comic actor says Adam Levine performed at his daughter Sadie's bat mitzvah?

Yvie Oddly wins 'RuPaul's Drag Race' Season 11

We have a winner, baby!! Condragulations to America's Next Drag Superstar: @OddlyYvie!!! #DragRace pic.twitter.com/yoiRntlw60- RuPaul's Drag Race (@RuPaulsDragRace) May 31, 2019

Yvie Oddly of Denver was crowned the winner of RuPaul's Drag Race Season 11.

Oddly was named America's Next Drag Superstar on Thursday after facing off against Brooke Lynn Hytes in a lip sync battle set to Lady Gaga's "The Edge of Glory."

A'Keria C. Davenport and Silly Nutmeg Ganache also made it to the grand finale.

Oddly, in addition to be crowned America's Next Drag Superstar, also took home a $100,000 cash prize, a one-year supply of Anastasia Beverly Hills cosmetics and a crown and scepter from Fierce Drag Jewels.

John Hickenlooper, the former Gov. of Denver and current democratic candidate for president, congratulated Oddly on Twitter. "Denver's own! Congrats @OddlyYvie. We're proud of you," he said.

RuPaul recently said on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert that drag is a political statement.

"What we do in drag is more important today than ever before," he said. "The job of the drag queen, the shaman, the court jester is to help people understand that life is not to be taken seriously."

??? Guess Who ???

Which comic actor says Adam Levine performed at his daughter Sadie's bat mitzvah?

Adam Sandler says Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine performed at his daughter Sadie's bat mitzvah.

The 52-year-old actor said during Thursday's episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live! he convinced the singer and former The Voice coach to sing at the celebration this month.

"It was unbelievable. It was the nicest thing," Sandler told host Jimmy Kimmel.

"The bat mitzvah is a big deal," he said of the Jewish coming of age ceremony. "I started texting Adam Levine, who's a great guy. I text him, 'I'm sorry to do this to you. My kid's getting bat mitzvah-ed Saturday night. Would you mind coming and singing a few tunes?'"

"I don't know why I did it. Then you see the dot dot dot immediately," the star added. "He writes, 'I can't say no to you. Where? ... What songs do you want?' I'm like, Oh my god, this is really happening. He came and sang."

Sandler said Levine performed three songs for Sadie, who turned 13 years old May 6.

"It was the coolest thing," he said. "She hugged me so much, my Sadie."

Sandler is parent to Sadie and 10-year-old daughter Sunny with wife Jackie Sandler. He appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live! with Jennifer Aniston, his co-star in the new Netflix movie Murder Mystery.

"We're two regular folks," Sandler said of their characters. "End up on a very wealthy yacht and a murder takes place. We have to figure out who did what."

"We got to go to Italy," Aniston said of filming. "Sadie and Sunny would come over and hang out with me in my room."

Murder Mystery debuts June 14 on Netflix. The film released a first trailer featuring Sandler and Aniston in April.