Despite being one of the best-selling musical artists of all time, Elvis Presley hasn’t had a lot of films made about his life. The example that immediately springs to mind is Elvis, which starred Kurt Russell and was directed by John Carpenter — but even that was a made-for-TV movie. True Romance is another example, but that’s also minor; he appears out of focus, and is onscreen for only about a minute. But this anomaly will come to an end soon, with THR learning that John Scheinfeld will direct a biopic of the singer, titled Fame & Fortune.
The most important announcement — that is, who will be playing the icon — hasn’t been made yet, but that should come soon; casting will start in the fall, and it’s being lined up for a release in 2012 by RLF Victor Productions. There’s a significance to the year: It coincides with the 35th anniversary of his death. It’s based on the biography Elvis: Still Taking Care of Business, a book written by the musician’s former bodyguard, Sonny West; biographer Marshall Terrill also contributed. The book sounds like it provides a rather uncompromising look at the singer’s life. After all, those who know even a little about him are aware of some of his personal problems, but this truly is an inside look.
Luckily for this project, Scheinfeld has plenty of experience with covering the life of musicians, having made documentaries like Who Is Harry Nilsson (And Why Is Everybody Talkin’ About Him?) and The U.S. vs. John Lennon. He’ll have to make a transition from the documentary format to a narrative, but I think that he can handle it, if that past work is any indication. As a mild fan of Elvis, I’ll be interested in how they portray a surprisingly complicated man. My biggest hope — seeing as his estate will probably turn them down — is that they can at least produce decent covers for the film. You can’t do an Elvis biopic without some good music.
Are you an Elvis fan, and if so, do you want to see a biopic of him? How do you feel about this director coming on board?
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