Elvis Presley has been prominently featured in a number of films, ranging from the horror comedy of Bubba Ho-Tep to the meeting of Elvis and Tricky Dick in Elvis & Nixon. But there hasn’t been a definitive biopic about the man who was dubbed the King of Rock and Roll. That’s about to change with Moulin Rouge director Baz Luhrman tackling the musician’s life, and another name has just been added to the film’s cast. Rufus Sewell (A Knight’s Tale, The Man in the High Castle) has joined the Elvis biopic as The King’s “reserved, soft-spoken” father Vernon Presley.
Variety has the latest update for the Elvis biopic cast, which already has relatively unknown actor Austin Butler in the lead role for the film chronicling the rise to fame of the poor kid turned music sensation. The story is said to follow Elvis and his “elevation to a level of stardom and celebrity matched only by The Beatles, set against an evolving cultural landscape and loss of innocence in America.”
As for Rufus Sewell’s role in the movie, it should be a significant one. Vernon Presley was a proud supporter of his son, and in addition to accompanying Elvis on tour, he would also manage his business affairs in an office behind the famous Graceland mansion. Both Vernon and his wife, Elvis’ mother Gladys (who will be played by Maggie Gyllenhaal), lived with Elvis there, and they were mostly a happy family.
However, Variety notes that Vernon was famously insecure, knowing he was unqualified to take care of his son’s affairs, and would often be worried about losing their fortune and going back to the poor lifestyle they led before. You can read more favorable things about Vernon Presley over at the Graceland website.
Tom Hanks is also on board as Elvis Presley’s manger, Colonel Tom Parker, a man who would end up betraying Elvis and taking advantage of his stardom.
With all the rage surrounding musical biopics lately, thanks to the success of Bohemian Rhapsody, there will undoubtedly be a lot of hype around this movie. We’re hoping that in the hands of Baz Luhrman, who has style to spare, it’ll be something a little more exciting and original like Rocketman.
Elvis is slated to arrive in theaters on October 1, 2021.
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