Tom Hanks to Play Elvis Presley’s Manager in New Movie
Actor Tom Hanks looks to be adding another high-profile credit to his impressive resume. Variety reports that the Oscar winner is in talks to play Elvis Presley’s manager Col. Tom Parker in Baz Luhrmann’s upcoming biopic about the iconic musician.
Parker was an integral part in Presley’s rise to fame. The manager came into Presley's life in early 1955 after the singer had released a few singles on Sun. Parker was first hired to help with bookings and promotion and became his manager a year later. It was Parker who secured Presley’s record deal with RCA, negotiated lucrative merchandising agreements and facilitated the singer’s transition to Hollywood.
The carnival-worker-turned-talent-manager also recognized that Presley’s time in the Army would be a boon to the rocker’s career. After a two-year stint serving his country overseas, Presley returned home in 1960 with his popularity at an all-time high.
Though Parker was involved in many aspects of Presley’s career, he admitted during a 1987 interview with Ted Koppel that he never inserted himself into musical decisions. “I never was involved with what songs he was going to record. Very seldom I was ever in the studio. He picked his own songs,” the manager stated. “The only song that I was able to have him record because I thought it was good for him was ‘Are You Lonesome Tonight.’”
Parker will be the latest in a long list of real-life characters portrayed by Hanks. The actor has previously played Jim Lovell in Apollo 13, airline pilot Chesley Sullenberger in Sully, Captain Richard Phillips in Captain Phillips and Walt Disney in Saving Mr. Banks. He’ll also don a classic cardigan to play Mister Rogers in the upcoming biopic A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, due out in November.
No one is yet attached to play Presley in the project, though Luhrmann is said to prefer a newcomer for the part. The director, known for his work on Moulin Rouge! and The Great Gatsby, hopes to move forward with production later this year.