Last King of Scotland director Kevin MacDonald is set to direct an Elvis Presley biopic for Fox 2000 called Last Train to Memphis, which is being produced by Mick Jagger.
The movie will be based on the 1995 Peter Guralnick biography, and the film "focuses on the years between Elvis's first, earth-shattering recordings and his meteoric rise to national prominence in 1956. These were years of revolutionary cultural turmoil, largely precipitated by Elvis's music. The screenplay recounts the story of his against-all-odds success due to his uncanny gift for self-invention, his unstoppable drive, and the new sound he created that changed the music world forever."
Jagger is also attached to produce the James Brown biopic that was recently announced, and Fox 2000 is the same production company that brought us the Johnny Cash film, Walk the Line. So this Elvis Presley movie is going to be the real deal, and they got a solidly talented director to take it on.
Here's the description of the biography that the movie is based on:
This volume tracks the first twenty-four years of Elvis' life, covering his childhood, the stunning first recordings at Sun Records ("That's All Right," "Mystery Train"), and the early RCA hits ("Heartbreak Hotel," "Hound Dog," "Don't Be Cruel"). These were the years of his improbable self-invention and unprecedented triumphs, when it seemed that everything that Elvis tried succeeded wildly. There was scarcely a cloud in sight through this period until, in 1958, he was drafted into the army and his mother died shortly thereafter. The book closes on that somber and poignant note.
Last Train to Memphis takes us deep inside Elvis' life, exploring his lifelong passion for music of every sort (from blues and gospel to Bing Crosby and Mario Lanza), his compelling affection for his family, and his intimate relationships with girlfriends, mentors, band members, professional associates, and friends. It shows us the loneliness, the trustfulness, the voracious appetite for experience, and above all the unshakable, almost mystical faith that Elvis had in himself and his music. Drawing frequently on Elvis' own words and on the recollections of those closest to him, the book offers an emotional, complex portrait of young Elvis Presley with a depth and dimension that for the first time allow his extraordinary accomplishments to ring true.
As a fan of Elvis and his work, I'm excited to see how this movie turns out. The studio also has launched a website called Young Elvis Casting where actors can submit audition tapes singing six to eight bars of any Presley song. So if you think you've got what it takes, send in a tape!