Baz Luhrmann was announced to direct an Elvis Presley biopic over five years ago, and there has been little movement on the project since. But finally, the film is preparing to go before the cameras. And it may have nabbed a big star for a major role. Tom Hanks is reportedly in talks to play Colonel Tom Parker in the currently untitled film.
Parker was Elvis’ manager, but became so much more. He discovered Presley as a young unknown in the mid-1950s, and helped build his career as both a legendary musician and an actor. He became a celebrity in his own right.
If Hanks officially inks a deal, that would secure a big name, and could allow Luhrmann to take a chance on a less well known actor to play Presley. Miles Teller and Harry Styles were names linked to the role at times over the last few years, but it’s unclear if there’s still interest there. Leonardo DiCaprio was also reportedly courted for the Parker role.
The film will trace Presley’s rise and fall, as well as examine his relationship with Parker, who controlled every facet of the singer’s life. Luhrmann will direct from a script he co-wrote with Craig Pearce. The duo previously worked together on Moulin Rouge! and The Great Gatsby.
Production is set to begin this autumn, although we’ve heard that before. Luhrmann still needs to secure his Elvis and agree with Warner Bros. on a budget.
The addition of Hanks will definitely give the project the traction it needs. He’ll next be seen as Mister Rogers in Sony’s upcoming biopic titled It’s A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood. And of course, he will reprise his role as Woody in Disney’s Toy Story 4, which hits cinemas Friday, June 21.