Generations of music lovers know the name Elvis Presley very well. The musician showed up on the music scene in Memphis, Tennessee all the way back in 1954 when he recorded a song with producer Sam Phillips at Sun Records (who is getting a movie made about his life and all the musicians’ careers he launched, with Leonardo DiCaprio in the lead role). Elvis Presley would go on to become a pioneer in rock and roll, a new form of music that would engulf the entertainment industry in controversy and change the world forever, and now we’ll get a three-hour, two-part feature documentary at HBO telling us how it all happened.
Find out about the Elvis Presley HBO documentary after the jump. Read More »
Elvis Presley was one of the greatest showmen in the history of music. Who better to chronicle his story, then, than one of the greatest showmen in the history of film? Baz Luhrmann, the director of Strictly Ballroom, Moulin Rouge, Romeo + Juliet and The Great Gatsby, is in talks to direct an untitled biopic about The King. Kelly Marcel (Terra Nova, Saving Mr. Banks and 50 Shades of Grey) is writing the screenplay for Warner Bros. Read more about the potential Baz Luhrmann Elvis movie below. Read More »
Even in death, the King is still making movies. Several stories based on Elvis Presley are in development around Hollywood but one just emerged from the pack. It’s called Last Train to Memphis, based on a book by Peter Guralnick, and follows Presley from his teenage years up through his blossoming into a rock and roll legend. Fox 2000 has been developing the project for years and finally, they’ve hired a director. It’s Kevin MacDonald, who also directed The Last King of Scotland, Touching the Void and State of Play. He’s joined by Rolling Stones front man Mick Jagger, who’ll produce and John Fusco (Young Guns) who adapted the book. Read More »
Elvis Presley fans likely feel they know everything there is to know about the King. His music, his women, his rise to fame and iconic appearances. While all that was happening, one of the people along for the ride was David E. Stanley, Elvis’ stepbrother. He lived with The King for 17 years and came to see Presley as a mentor. Years later, Stanley co-wrote a book called Conversations With the King: Journals of a Young Apprentice which has now been optioned by BiteSize Entertainment for a feature film adaptation called Growing up Graceland. The film will focus on the personality of Elvis behind the scenes; a man who struggled with his fame and ultimately turned to spirituality. Read more after the jump. Read More »
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In the past few weeks, biopics have been the source of the weirdest casting news. Ashton Kutcher is playing Steve Jobs, and Jane Fonda is playing Nancy Reagan. Now a casting choice that seemed like a PR stunt when first mentioned — Lindsay Lohan playing Elizabeth Taylor in a Lifetime movie — has come to pass, while Taylor Swift is said to be lining up to play folk and feminist icon Joni Mitchell.
On the other side of casting news, Malin Akerman is doubtful that she’ll really get the chance to play a different feminist icon, one-time porn star Linda Lovelace, in Inferno. And Eric Bana is no longer attached to play Elvis. Read More »
Weekend Weirdness’ favorite J.C. directed a nearly three hour epic about The King starring his main man Snake Plissken, and yet the film was at risk of being forgotten by younger generations. How could this occur when the movie in question, John Carpenter‘s Elvis, is arguably a better country music biopic than Walk the Line, and exudes an unpretentious but fetching style reminiscent of Hal Ashby’s Woody Guthrie biopic Bound for Glory? Well, until this week, Elvis wasn’t available on DVD, and the film’s prior home video presence was spotty at best.
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From the start of the ’00s, musician and motivational speaker Andrew W.K. has been jumping around the planet promoting the benefits of partying the human heart out. So relentless is his dedication that he’s been consulted on the topic by entertainment zeitgeisters like Jackass, Conan O’Brien, and The Daily Show. His music and modus operandi were forever immortalized—in one of the first crossovers of then-nascent youth culture with the summer blockbuster—in Old School. As the decade closes out, 2009 finds Andrew W.K. overseeing one of the best major nightclubs in New York City, Santos Party House, a brand new record label, and…a new kids gameshow on Cartoon Network that entails firing bazookas and setting off enough C4 to make John McClane grind a roll of Tums.
Entitled Destroy Build Destroy, Andrew W.K. serves as a white-denim ringmaster on episodes pitting two demolition squads of barely-teens. Last weekend’s premiere saw a team of Mathletes take on a team of Skaters. Pass the safety goggles and get your awkward on. The show’s grandiose objective is to build massive machinery and Road Warrior-esque makeshift vehicles, throw down the gauntlet on a bizarre stunt course, and then blow up the losing team’s creation. Big time. As we discuss below, the show plays like Michael Bay 101, utilizing military tanks and firearms in a novel—arguably thought-provoking—positive means to an end. If you’ve never read an interview with Andrew W.K., caution: you may find yourself hypnotized by his “punk rock feng shui” philosophy, as if lost amongst flowing robes accented by a stream of signature blood in the name of fun.
Hunter Stephenson: Andrew, what do you make of the critics who already say that your show, Destroy Build Destroy, will lead to a kid being accidentally blown up?
Andrew W.K.: Well, that’s certainly always a concern when you’re presenting potentially hazardous situations to anybody. This could be a show about senior citizens and I’m sure there would almost be as much concern about them injuring themselves. Whenever you’re venturing into the exciting part of the world and want to present it, there tends to be risk there. But, I always have a lot confidence in the intelligence of young people to be safe, to do what they want to do. Just because there is someone out there who might end up hurting themselves doesn’t mean that everyone else needs to have all that excitement taken away. That’s how I’ve been thinking of it…
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