Elvis Biopic Cast Maggie Gyllenhaal

Maggie Gyllenhaal is about to give birth to the King of Rock and Roll. Gyllenhaal has been cast as Gladys Presley, AKA the mother of Elvis, in Baz Luhrmann‘s musical biopic Elvis. The real Elvis was very close with his mother, which means Gyllenhaal is likely to have a somewhat substantial role, and not just show up for a scene or two at the beginning of the movie only to then vanish. Austin Butler is playing Elvis, while Tom Hanks is set to play the King’s legendary manager, Colonel Tom Parker.

Variety is reporting that Maggie Gyllenhaal is set to play Elvis’ mother Gladys Presley in Elvis, a new biopic/musical from Baz Luhrmann. Elvis was extremely close with his mother, and her death at the age of 46 devastated the musician. The official Graceland website has more insight into their relationship:

After the Presleys moved to Memphis in November 1948, Gladys continued to work. Her jobs included working as a nurse’s aid at St. Joseph’s Hospital and working at Britling’s Cafeteria.

Elvis wanted to give his mother, who’d given him so much, a better life.

He purchased their first home on Audubon Drive, a year before purchasing Graceland. And of course, after he purchased Graceland, he welcomed his parents in with open arms.

Gladys lived at Graceland until her death in 1958, which broke her son’s heart. But Gladys’ impact on her son was lifelong. He was loving and protective of his own daughter, Lisa. He loved the same music Gladys loved and recorded some of her favorite songs. He shared his love of music with the world, the way she shared her love of music with her son.

When Elvis died in 1977, he was buried next to Gladys. So while Elvis’ mom dies young in this true tale, one can hope Gyllenhaal will have a somewhat substantial role, and not be delegated to an extended cameo, like Bryce Dallas Howard as Elton John’s mom in Rocketman.

While musician biopics are getting a bit tiresome, especially since they all seem to rely on the same formula, I’ll admit to being interested in what Luhrmann is working on here. He’s not a conventional filmmaker, so I doubt he’s going to take a paint-by-numbers route with this story. I’m also curious to see what Tom Hanks does with the role of Colonel Tom Parker, the other major controlling figure in Elvis Presley’s life.

Elvis is expected to take the stage on October 1, 2021.

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