Rocketman 2019



We’re launching the new working week with the first trailer for Elton John biopic ROCKETMAN with first photos of Taron Egerton as Elton himself and currently the most popular Brit Richard Madden as his manager and

Rocketman will hit theatres around the world next May

lover John Reid (you will hardly recognise him with the dark new hairdo) with whom he worked for more than twenty years. The movie, scheduled to start its cinematic life next May around the world, also stars Bryce Dallas Howard 

Richard Madden plays Elton’s manager and lover John Reid

as Elton’s mother Sheila Eileen. Jamie Bell plays his songwriting partner Bernie Taupin whom he met when they both applied for a job at a record company back in the late 60s. Steven Mackintosh and Gemma Jones also star!

a mix of fantasy and reality, is a very honest and uncensored story of Elton John’s life, from his years as a prodigy at the Royal Academy of Music through becoming world wide pop superstar and his influential and enduring

The film was originally supposed to star Tom Hardy or James McAvoy

musical partnership with Bernie Taupin with whom he wrote the song which became the name of the movie itself. The movie will also mention Elton’s drug abuse. Dexter Fletcher, who was brought in to finish Queen biopic

Jamie Bell and Taron Egerton as Bernie Taupin and Elton John

Bohemian Rhapsody, is directing this one as well. Taron Egerton is also singing the songs in the movie beside portraying Elton John, but that is no big surprise as we were all mindblown by his voice in the animated feature Sing in which he gave his voice to the smooth voiced gorilla.

The Reclusive Aristocrat – Part Sixty-Five

Chapter Twenty-Eight

Crestwell Abbey, Cumberland, April 17th, 1816

Racing after his wife, Alex found her on the verge of closing the door to their rooms. For a few seconds, she stared at him, her cheeks still wet with tears. He stood absolutely still and kept quiet, gazing at her with what he hoped was all the love he felt for her.

It was time, he knew. She must know at this very moment that his feelings for her were true and deep. He could not force her to let him in, both to the room or to her heart. She had only just rejected him when his only wish had been to comfort her. He could, of course, not blame her. What had he to offer her, now that she would be an heiress in control of her own money. He had decided long ago that she would have independent financial resources and would settle the matter with his solicitor as soon as they returned home. She would receive a portion of his income on top of her own money, yet he had an inkling that the money subject was what had chased her from him, just now.

He waited, his heart pounding with dread. To his infinite relief, she stepped back.

“Rowena,” he said, his voice husky because of the enormous lump in his throat, “please do not shut me out of your grief? I want to share this with you as I long to share everything in our life.  I …”

“Liar!” She stepped back even further. “You want to share? Just now when you know I will bring money into our marriage? Before this, you took me in because we were so perfectly matched, remember? A destitute, fallen woman with a child underway and a former soldier damaged by battle, unable to see what he was marrying, so it was of no consequence what she looked like and what she had or did not have. You did your duty to a fault, even to so far as to protect me from danger. I had never any doubts that you would do so, since you are an honourable man and a true soldier. However, you never even liked me, my lord, you never showed any hint of affection, but now you do, now that you know I bring blunt into the estate. We …”

Now it was his turn to interrupt, he found. To stop her silly ranting, he kissed her, restraining her when she would have fought against his embrace. He forced himself to be gentle and not hurt her. It took several moments for her to stop struggling. Her head came resting against his chest, and she was panting with sobs of frustration.

Gently, he lifted her chin and kissed the top of her nose. “Like you? Feel affection for you? My darling girl, have you not understood that I am head over heels in love with you? My silly girl, I love you so much it hurts. I want us to return forthwith to Ketteridge House and start our marriage in earnest. I want to fill our house with children, preferably six or seven, boys, girls, it does not signify. And money? Blast it all to hell, Rowena! I fell in love with you the moment I picked you up on my snowy driveway and felt you, so alive, so lovely, like a balm to my wounded heart.”

Her eyes were pools of molten chocolate, her mouth was trembling. “I cannot bear the thought that you might not be sincere, Alex. I am asking you therefore why you have waited so long to tell me all this. All these long months, you have loved me but never said so?”

Of course, she would be suspicious. He had not exactly been forthcoming and honest with her, had he? “Come,” he said, “let us sit for a while.” He directed her to the settee, then cradled one of her dainty hands between his large ones.

“I have been a recluse for all my thirty-one years, Rowie. Well, not literally but figuratively speaking, that is. My childhood was uneventful but lonely, although that never occurred to me before I was twelve, and Reggie sent me to Eton. My father was a distant yet terribly frightening presence upstairs, while I was basking in the loving attention of all the downstairs womenfolk. On the rare occasions that I ventured beyond the green baize door into the house proper, I had no inkling at all that there was my father, the man who sired me, living there. I knew Reggie also lived there sometimes, so as a child I only climbed the stairs to go searching for him when the servants said he was back for holidays. I do not think I realized Reggie was my brother until I was ten or eleven.”

Rowena’s heart clenched with pity as she squeezed his hand. How terrible that must have been for a lonely, motherless, little boy. She could not fathom how a parent could be so cruel.

“Eton was a pleasant revelation to me,” Alex continued. “Scores of boys of my own age and older, all trying to make me do what they wanted me to do, and not succeeding. I was big for my age, and the grooms in our stables had thought me all the tricks to pummel someone into submission. I loved fisticuffs and thoroughly enjoyed punishing the bullies at school. Being raised by servants also taught me how to avoid punishment and how to cast the blame on my bullies so that they took the punishment in my stead. No wonder I became the hero of all the small, slender boys after I beat their nemeses into a bloody pulp.”

“You must be exaggerating, Alex. I cannot picture you bloodying anyone.” Secretly, Rowena was overjoyed that he was finally opening up to her.

“Oh, but it is true, sweetheart. It became even worse at Cambridge, where I took boxing lessons. I got a solid reputation of someone not to be trifled with,” Alex chuckled.

“What happened after Cambridge?” Rowena asked. She was thrilled to hear more of him.

Alex sighed. “I still had not learned my lesson concerning my father. When I came home, I tried to acquaint myself better with him, but he immediately made it clear that I was not to live at Ketteridge House. He had purchased a commission for me with the Guards. It was not what I had wished for but even so, I went to the barracks in London and started my career. I fought for King and country for the next ten years. I was in the Peninsula, France  and Flanders, until Waterloo stopped my military days with the consequence you know.”

“You never saw your father again?”

“No, I came home for the funeral and was told by his solicitor that I was not mentioned in his will. Reggie offered me a portion of the money, but by that time I was thoroughly annoyed with him for not having married yet. I knew he needed an heir and I was absolutely terrified that the abysmal task of solving that particular problem could be mine eventually. We quarrelled, and I left and did not come back until after Waterloo. Reggie died on the eve of the battle, so I never saw him again, either.”

“What a sad story. You must have been very lonely, Alex.”

“Not while I was in the army, no. I got used to the notion that I never had a true place I could call home, travelling Europe with the troops. Yet that was not the worst of it, sweetheart. In fact, all this elaborate narration was to tell you why love did not figure as something important to me. Who was I to love? Reggie was the only one who ever gave a damn tuppence about me, so I guess I must have loved him, or sort of.”

“Oh, Alex …”

“I never asked myself what love was or could be, because I had no one to love. I never had a ladylove or a mistress. I had women for bed sport, was all, and I was not even profligate in that.”

He looked his wife in the eye, gently squeezing her hand. “Until I met you, my darling, I never knew what love was. The deep, solid feeling of belonging to that one woman who installs true happiness and fills one with pride and bliss. When I finally realized I could never have happiness without you, my sweet love, I knew that I loved you.”

He sighed once more. Sudden fear, hot and painful, wrenched through him.

“Rowena, I am bearing my heart to you. Please do not trample it, my sweet.”

Medici (2) – The Magnificent


You probably remember that your spy’s favourite epic series last year was Medici: Masters of Florence! The first season was absolutely magnificent and it seems the second one could be, at least its name says so, the same: MEDICI: THE MAGNIFICENTis ready to start airing on Italian national broadcaster RAI October 23rd and we can hope it will air its English language version sometime this winter on NetflixUnlike the first season which followed Cosimo Medici in the amazing performance of Richard Madden, this one will focus on his grandsons Lorenzo, played by Daniel Sharman, and his brother Giuliano, played by Bradley James. The cast will also include Sarah Parish as their mother Lucrezia, Sean Bean as their enemy Jacopo de’ Pazzi, Raoul Bova as Pope Sixtus IV, Sebastian de Souza as Sandro Botticelli and Alessandra Mastronardi as Lucrezia Donati!

has the story set in 1470. Medici’s family power has been consolidated over time. Lorenzo is called to take his father’s place after an attempt on his life which reveals years of poor bank management from them. As new head of Medici’s family, he has to take care of his brother Giuliano and his sister Bianca. He marries Clarice Orsini, a noble woman from Rome, and his friendship with Botticelli gives life to Renaissance. His contrast with Pope Sixtus brings Florence to the most bloody moment of its History, the Pazzi conspiracy.
The second season starts October 23rd in Italy
Sarah Parish, Daniel Sharman and Bradley James are the Medicis


Netflix will air the English version probably this winter!



Renny Harlin was behind the helm of the movie

Since Hollywood is enjoying its deep Autumn slumber, your trusted spy will continue our week with the trip around the world we started yesterday with the French Monday, moving today far away to another continent and good old China with her fantasy movie splendour! LEGEND OF THE ANCIENT SWORD is set to start its cinematic life worldwide next week October 1st and what is interesting about it is that Hollywood moviemaker Renny Harlin is behind the helm although the cast is entirely Asian. Starring Chinese stars Leehom Wang, Victoria Song,

Mandarin Chinese movie is out next week!

Godfrey Gao, Karena Nig, Archie Kao, Julian Cheung and Ada LiuLEGEND OF THE ANCIENT SWORD is fantasy adventure action movie adaptation of famous video game Gu Jian Qi Tan 2!

sees Leehom Wang playing Yue Wuyi who, due to a fateful occurrence, leaves home. He meets revered master Xie Yi, who imparts to him the magicalarts of Yan, and thus begins his journey of cultivation. Along the way he meets Wen Renyu, Xia Yize, Ah Ruan and company. They discover the schemes and conspiracies of Shen Ye, the grand priest of Liu Yue City. The group of adventurers undergoes dangers to defeat Shen Ye, and prevent a disaster frombefalling the world. Check out the lovely new character posters and also the visually charming and colourful trailer below:

The Riftwar Saga

 BCDF Pictures has bought the rights on Raymond E. Feist’s epic fantasy series THE RIFTWAR SAGA and Kurt Johnstad (who wrote both 300 movies) has been hired to adapt the first novel Magician Apprentice as TV series. The saga, set in Midkemia, which has 32 novels sold in more than 20 million copies, sees the peace of the Kingdom of the Isles destroyed when mysterious invaders from another world swarm the land. A young magician’s destiny leads him through a rift in the fabric of space and time to master the powers of a strange new magic, while his warrior friend inherits a legacy of savage power from an ancient civilization.



Saga has been translated into more than 35 languages


Getting an adaptation, but a small screen one is World War II book THE TATTOOIST OF AUSCHWITZ by Heather Morris which is to be turned into an international series with an aim for it to start airing in January 2020 at the 75th anniversary of the camp’s liberation.
THE TATTOOIST OF AUSCHWITZ tells the true story of Lale Sokolov, a Jewish prisoner who was given the job of tattooing identification numbers on prisoners’ arms in the Auschwitz Birkenau concentration camp during World War Two. One day, he met Gita while she was waiting in line to be tattooed and it was love at first sight. And so began one of the most life-affirming, courageous, unforgettable and human stories of the Holocaust and a tale of the very best of humanity in the very worst of circumstances.



Also of interest may be Richard Armitage’s recent audiobook of the same story.

Listen to Richard for a few minutes as he reads this.


Synchronicity Films is producing the series