Elvis Presley portrayed on screen: Austin Butler, Kurt Russell, Don Johnson
Elvis is back inside the structure! In Baz Luhrmann’s (“Moulin Rouge”) upbeat new “Elvis,” which revolutionises the biopic genre, Austin Butler is the most recent performer to swivel his hips as the iconic Elvis Presley. Tom Hanks portrays Colonel Tom Parker, Elvis’ enigmatic Svengali-like manager, who turned down offers for his client to perform in the 1961 original of “West Side Story” and the 1976 remake of “A Star is Born” starring Barbra Streisand.
His ex-wife Priscilla Presley, daughter Lisa Marie Presley, and grandchildren, including actress and director Riley Keough, have all praised this new movie. Elvis Presley passed away in 1977 at the age of 42, but he has continued to live on in a number of TV movies, miniseries, and series, at least in spirit.
One of these films was the now-forgotten NBC drama from 1993 called “Elvis & the Colonel: The Untold Story,” which starred Rob Youngblood as the young Elvis and Beau Bridges as Colonel Parker. The celebrated 1979 ABC biopic “Elvis,” starring Russell, was also produced by Dick Clark. William C. Graham, who directed the controversial 1969 Elvis film “Change of Habit,” directed “Elvis & the Colonel.”
In the telefilm, Parker was portrayed as having an iron grip on Elvis’ career and in a less than flattering light. In a 1993 L.A. Times interview, Clark admitted that he had long desired to make a film that went beyond the conventional notion that “wasn’t the Colonel the greatest manager that ever came down the pike, as was put up for so many years.” When Parker signed the 21-year-old Elvis, Clark claims that he received 25% of his client’s earnings; nevertheless, by 1967, he was receiving a stunning 50%. The two, according to Clark, had a love-hate relationship. He added, “I’m confident neither persona was all black or all white. Presley “was not schooled I contracts and so forth,” he continued. Elvis apparently never read anything.
Graham said that the Parker didn’t spend much time on the “Change of Habit” set, despite the fact that he thought Elvis was one of the nicest men he had ever encountered. He said that Elvis and his associates, the so-called Memphis Mafia, were bad lads. They enjoyed making fun of me and shooting water pistols at us both. The Colonel was somewhat of a truant officer when he first arrived on the scene. He always wore a somewhat serious grumpy look on his face. Elvis seemed to have a great deal of respect for the Colonel—almost a sense of fear. But the Colonel made relatively little appearance during the film’s production. He mainly focused on the important issues.