You know who’s never been given a silver screen biopic? Elvis Presley. On TV, Kurt Russell played the King in ’79 and Jonathan Rhys Meyers took a stab at the role before playing a different kind of king, but no one has ever portrayed the late rock icon for a Hollywood theatrical release. Leave it to acclaimed writer/director of musical documentaries John Scheinfeld to change that.
Scheinfeld has made a name for himself with films like The U.S. vs. John Lennon and last year’s Who Is Harry Nilsson (And Why Is Everybody Talkin’ About Him?). Now, The Hollywood Reporter reports that RLF Victor Productions has tapped Scheinfeld to direct Fame & Fortune, a film based on the 2007 biography written by Presley’s bodyguard Sonny West and biographer Marshall Terrill entitled Elvis: Still Taking Care of Business. The book follows Presley’s career from his rise to meetings with the Beatles and Richard Nixon to his decline and eventual death in 1977.
West worked on the script with Cindy Friedlander and Michael Schlau. Casting for the adaptation is set to take place in the late fall. The current goal is to have the project canned and released sometime in 2012 in time for the 35th anniversary of Presley’s death at age 42.
With biopics like Ray and Walk the Line about Presley’s contemporaries Ray Charles and Johnny Cash finding both critical and box office success, the bar is undoubtedly high for Fame & Fortune. Both films relied on not only great directors and scripts, but some surprising-yet-pitch-perfect casting. So the question now is, who should have the honor of bringing Elvis Presley’s visage to the big screen?