TheWrap‘s Jeff Sneider reported earlier today that Baz Luhrmann is negotiating to direct an Elvis Presley biopic based on a script by Kelly Marcel (Saving Mr. Banks, Fifty Shades of Grey). Yes, I agree that Jared Leto would be a good choice to play Presley…or is he be too old to play him young? Because I’m guessing that Marcel’s script will be about the thin, 20something Elvis of the mid ’50s rather than the bloated, grotesque, drug-taking, peanut-butter-and-banana-sandwich-consuming, on-the-verge-of-death Elvis of the mid ’70s. (Banks showed that Marcel is not a fan of sprawling, multi-decade biopics.) If I were her I’d concentrate on ’54 (i.e, when Presley made his first Sun Records recording) to ’58, when he went into the Army and more or less “died” (in the view of John Lennon) as far as his sideburned, hip-shaking, rock ‘n’ roll sexual-dynamo persona was concerned. Who wants to see a fat Elvis movie? What is there to say about another rock star self-destructing? It’s an old, predictable story we’ve seen a hundred times.
(l.) Elvis Presley sometime around 1957 or ’58; (r.) during his bloated downfall period, probably sometimes around ’75 or ’76.