Elton John is launching a theatre production company that will have a strong emphasis on the creation of original musicals, including a new family show that will feature songs from his back catalogue.
Rocket Stage is a £10 million joint venture between Old Vic Productions – the co-producer of Billy Elliot the musical, which features music by John – and Rocket Pictures, the entertainment company created by John, David Furnish and Steve Hamilton-Shaw.
OVP will invest 25% into the company, with the remaining 75% from Rocket Pictures. Under the joint venture, OVP will invest £2.5 million in cash over the next three years.
The company is being created to co-produce a series of shows in association with John, and the joint venture will have the rights to all feature films made by Rocket Pictures, as well as any of John’s future musical theatre projects.
Rocket Stage is currently working on five new musicals, one of which is a family show that will feature existing songs penned by John, alongside new material. The second is a brand new show that will feature an entirely new score from John.
OVP will co-produce all of the planned stage shows and general manage them in the UK, claiming the move will provide “intellectual property, rights and royalties which have the potential to create long-term value in OVP”.
Sally Greene, OVP chief executive, said: “I am thrilled to be forming this joint venture with Elton and David, who are not just close friends but partners on Billy Elliot over the past nine years. Elton is without doubt one of the greatest artist/composers of our generation and we are very excited about the new shows we are developing.”
OVP recently obtained the rights to Enid Blyton’s Famous Five books, which are being developed into a musical.
Alongside Billy Elliot, John has also penned music for shows such as The Lion King and Aida.
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