Tom Hanks is set to appear in the upcoming and as of yet untitled movie on Elvis Presley. The two-time Oscar winner is going to play the role of ‘Colonel’ Tom Parker, Elvis’ manager, in the movie, as reported by Variety. Notably, the film is being made for Warner Bros. by Baz Luhrmann, who is known for ‘The Great Gatsby‘ and ‘Moulin Rouge!’. The script has been penned by Luhrmann and Craig Pearce. Luhrmann’s wife Catherine Martin is producing the film along with him and Gail Berman.
While insiders say that a search has not begun for any actor before they are cast to play the role of Elvis, the part of his iconic manager is going to Hanks. Parker was a legend and eventually became much more than a manager, controlling almost every aspect of Elvis’ life. For those unaware, it was Parker who discovered Presley as a young and relatively unknown musician in the 1950s and helped him build his career as one of the most legendary musicians of all time, and also an actor. Due to the setting of the movie, the chances are that Luhrmann will cast someone who is younger, in the role of Elvis. There have been talks about casting the likes of Miles Teller or Harry Styles, but the truth is, with Hanks anchoring the movie as Parker, there is no need for a star to step into the shoes of Elvis, and a suitably talented newcomer would do for the role. There had been reports of Luhrmann reaching out to Leonardo DiCaprio, who worked with him on ‘The Great Gatsby’, for the role, before approaching Hanks. However, DiCaprio might have been unwilling to play second fiddle in a movie that will clearly be more about Elvis, irrespective of how iconic Parker might have been in the singer’s life.
Coming to the movie itself, the plot remains mostly under wraps for now, but is likely to trace the rise and fall of Elvis and the effect of his manager, Parker, on his life. The film is supposed to begin production this fall, only if Luhrmann finds someone to cast as Elvis, and comes to terms with the budget set by Warner Bros. before that time.
For those fascinated by Colonel Parker, you must know that this scrappy Dutch-born man was a hustler through and through. He never became a citizen and the rank of ‘colonel’ was given to him as an honorary title. Parker came across Presley in the 1950s, when the former was struggling as a manager and the latter was not even 18, and just trying to make his way into the music scene. Blown away by Presley’s talent, Parker knew a golden goose when he saw one. Over the following two years, Parker managed to pay off all the other managers and agents in Elvis’ life and planted himself as the exclusive representative of the singer. From there on out, Parker ensured that Elvis reached the national stage in America, and the rest, as they say, was history.