Elton John biopic Rocketman was partly funded by an investment fund backed by the Vatican, according to an Italian newspaper.
Researchers looked into the Vatican’s involvement in the Centurion Global Fund, a Malta-based company that contributed €1 million ($AU1.6 million) to Rocketman’s production.
The Vatican holds a majority stake in the fund. It also helped to finance the latest installment of the Men in Black film franchise, the newspaper said.
The “epic musical fantasy” film Rocketman explores Elton John’s early years, including Elton’s relationship with first manager John Reid.
Rocketman didn’t shy away from gay sex on-screen, depicting the sexual relationship between the pair, played by Taron Egerton and Richard Madden.
Catholic doctrine, however, rules that homosexuality is “objectively disordered” and gay sex is “contrary to the natural law”.
The film grossed $195 million around the world on a budget of around $40 million.
Sir Elton John said sex scenes ‘very important part’ of Rocketman
Sir Elton John told the Mirror: “I’m so glad [the sex scene] is in there because I am a gay man. 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.”
But Elton John slammed reports the film’s Russian distributor censored around five minutes of the film.
As well as removing drug use and gay scenes, Russia cut the ending message that Elton found “the love of his life” and became a father with husband David Furnish.
Elton said the edits are “a sad reflection of the divided world we still live in and how it can still be so cruelly unaccepting of the love between two people.”
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