Entertainment & Arts

Elton John plans new Billy Elliot film as musical turns 10

David Furnish and Elton John Image copyright PA
Image caption David Furnish and Elton John at last night's 10th anniversary show

Elton John has revealed plans for a big screen adaptation of his stage show Billy Elliot the Musical.

Speaking after the show's 10th anniversary performance, Sir Elton told the BBC: "It would be lovely to do a film version.

"There are other songs that we had had to leave out of the musical that would be great in the film."

The birthday show in London on Tuesday night featured performances by six Billy Elliot actors - past and present.

It was attended by dozens of previous cast members from the past decade, many of whom joined the current cast on stage at the Victoria Palace Theatre.

Billy Elliot tells the story of an 11-year-old boy who follows his dream to become a ballet dancer against the expectations of his working class family in County Durham during the bitter 1980s miners' strike.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The show was attended by many actors who have played Billy Elliot over the years

The show - with songs by Sir Elton - was written by Lee Hall and directed by Stephen Daldry, the same creative team behind the Oscar-nominated 2000 film which starred Jamie Bell.

It first opened at the Victoria Palace Theatre on 12 May 2005, and has since been seen by 10 million people worldwide.

Speaking after Tuesday's gala performance, Sir Elton joked he would like to play the eccentric grandmother in the new film.

He added: "You can only do so much on stage with the material you've got and the length of the show, so I think if one did a movie of this show it would be nice to change some things and maybe put something fresh in."

Image copyright Working Title/BBC
Image caption The 2000 film starred Jamie Bell as Billy and Julie Walters as his dance teacher

Writer Lee Hall said that following the recent UK election that Billy Elliot had "never been more current".

Daldry added: "It's more relevant today than it ever was. The story about a community in crisis and inequality and the idea of grace is one of the things we all have to embrace."

Sir Elton, who was accompanied by husband and show producer David Furnish, revealed he had "just written" a new musical. He gave no further details.

But he did say that his sons, aged four and two, had not yet seen his other stage musical hit The Lion King - and had only "lasted for half" of The Snowman at Christmas.

Billy Elliot the Musical's run in London has been extended to December 2016 and it will begin its first UK and Ireland tour in February 2016.

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