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Film and TV

Elton John biopic Rocketman was part-funded by the Vatican. Yes, really

Nick Duffy December 5, 2019
Taron Egerton in Rocketman

Taron Egerton in Rocketman

It has been revealed that the Vatican part-funded Elton John biopic Rocketman, despite the film’s explicit portrayal of gay sex.

According to Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, an investigation into investments held by the Vatican’s Secretariat of State revealed that the Catholic body holds a majority stake in the the Malta-based Centurion Global Fund.

Vatican fund helped finance Rocketman.

The fund contributed £850,000 towards the development of Rocketman, despite the Vatican’s condemnation of homosexuality and the film’s graphic depiction of gay sex.

The Vatican-linked fund’s investment amounts to around three per cent of Rocketman‘s total budget, while the fund also helped to finance Tessa Thompson film Men in Black: International.

Sir Elton John and Taron Egerton attend a screening of "Rocketman" during the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival on May 16, 2019 in Cannes, France. (Mike Marsland/WireImage)
Sir Elton John and Taron Egerton attend a screening of “Rocketman” during the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival on May 16, 2019 in Cannes, France. (Mike Marsland/WireImage)

The Catholic church’s role in funding the projects has not been previously disclosed.

It is bound to provoke controversy within the church, which still teaches that homosexual acts “are intrinsically disordered” and contrary to God’s will.

Sir Elton John said gay sex is a ‘very important part’ of Rocketman.

Meanwhile, Rocketman did not shy away from on-screen gay sex scenes while depicting the relationship between Sir Elton (Taron Egerton) and his manager John Reid (Richard Madden).

Sir Elton previously told the Mirror: “I’m so glad [the sex scene] is in there because I am a gay man and I didn’t want to airbrush it under the carpet.

“I’m proud Rocketman is the first major studio film with a gay love sex scene in it. If I’d left it out, I’d have felt I was cheating people.

“If they don’t like it, I understand, but it’s part of who I am. That night was a very, very important part.”

The singer also admitted fighting off attempts to tone down the film, explaining in The Guardian: “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.

“I didn’t want a film packed with drugs and sex, but equally, everyone knows I had quite a lot of both during the 70s and 80s, so there didn’t seem to be much point in making a movie that implied that after every gig, I’d quietly gone back to my hotel room with only a glass of warm milk and the Gideon’s Bible for company.”

 

More: Elton John, rocketman, Taron Egerton, Vatican

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