It's beginning to look like Tom Hanks' next role will be Elvis Presley's legendary manager Colonel Tom Parker. The actor is currently in talks with Baz Luhrmann to join the cast of his upcoming Elvis biopic. Details are scarce at the moment, but it is believed that the director is looking for a young and unknown actor to take on the lead role with a goal to begin production by the end of the year. Luhrmann is directing the biopic from a script that he and Craig Pearce wrote.
This won't be the first time that Tom Hanks has taken on a role in the music business for a movie. He famously played Mr. White, who was a fictional A&R man for Playtone Records, in 1996's That Thing You Do! As for playing a real person, Hanks has tackled that numerous times in his lengthy career and most recently played Mister Rogers in the upcoming A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. With that being said, taking on the role of Colonel Tom Parker could be a pretty interesting task for the actor.
While Colonel Tom Parker was responsible for Elvis Presley's early success, he was also a very controversial figure. It will be interesting to see how Baz Luhrmann approaches some of the more colorful moments of the King's career in the Elvis biopic. Parker notoriously took half of Presley's earnings, which is brought up a lot in pop culture when managers are seen ripping off clients. Parker famously sold the rights to Presley's music after his death, which was, and is still seen, as a huge financial blunder. Parker later gambled away at least 25% of Presley's estate, with some estimates going as high as 50%.
The upcoming Baz Luhrmann Elvis biopic won't be the first time that an actor has played Colonel Tom Parker on the screen. Pat Hingle, Hugh Gillin, Beau Bridges, Randy Quaid, Gene Jones, and Billy Gardell have all played Parker in television projects over the years. Quaid was nominated for a Golden Globe, Emmy Award, and a Satellite Award win for Best Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or Movie for his performance in CBS' Elvis miniseries. Colonel Tom Parker is also huge in pop culture.
Tom Hanks will certainly have his work cut out for him when the time comes. It's unclear how far into the King of Rock n' Roll's life the Elvis biopic will go, but there is enough material to make at least two movies. The biopic is very popular these days with the success of Bohemian Rhapsody and to a lesser extent, the Motely Crue story The Dirt on Netflix. With that being said, it really doesn't get bigger than Elvis Presley and Michael Jackson, so this biopic is sure to be a pretty big deal when it arrives. This story was first reported by Variety.