“Twilight” heartthrob Robert Pattinson has often complained about the lack of good move roles, but here’s one film that would play to all of his strengths — a biopic of the King of Rock, Elvis Presley.
This year marks the 75th anniversary of Presley’s birth and although he’s been dead for 33 years, Presley is as well known today as he was during his heyday.
His estate is estimated to generate more than $100 million a year, and Presley was even featured on a recent “American Idol” show.
Contestant Crystal Bowersox belted out an Elvis tune “Saved” a mix of blues and gospel. Bowersox is a big fan of the genre, which was popularized by Elvis.
And both are major heartthrobs!
The movie, obviously, would focus on Elvis’s early years as he makes his way from Tupelo, Miss., and Memphis, Tenn. to the offices of Sun Records and owner Sam Phillips.
At the time Phillips was eager to bring break the ugly race barrier in America and bring the sound of African American music to a wider audience.
In many ways it was a defining moment in U.S. history, when the nation began to question many of the values that rock and roll eventually rebelled against.
While Presley was never overtly political and became quite conservative later in his career, he was nonetheless on the cutting edge of a music and social revolution.
He went on to become the best-selling solo artist in the history of popular music, until his career spiraled out of control and he died in Aug. 1977.
Rob would be perfect for the role, for one, because he bears a striking resemblance in the King of Rock.
He also has a strong interest in music. Plus he has that rebellious, carefree attitude that captures the essence of a young Elvis.It would be a tough role to play. Presley is so iconic, there were be a danger that any portrayal would be criticized as mere caricature.
But Joaquin Phoenix took that risk when he portrayed Johnny Cash in “Walk the Line.” He pulled off a highly credible performance, and had never played the guitar before the film.
The movie would potentially be a huge hit because of the curiosity among a new generation, epitomized by Bowersox, about the early years of rock and roll.
Of course, movies about music are not necessarily sure box office winners, but a number of recent films have been solid hits.
“Almost Famous,” the 2000, Cameron Crowe directed film about a teenage writer for Rolling Stone magazine covering a rock band, didn’t break even despite favorable reviews and four Oscar nominations.
“Ray,” a 2004 biopic focusing musician Ray Charles, on the other hand, was both a commercial and critical success. The film cost $40 million to make and grossed about $125 million worldwide.
Star Jamie Foxx also won the Academy Award for best actor.
The Bill Condon-directed 2006 film, “Dreamgirls,” with big studio backing from DreamWorks and Paramount Pictures, was also a smash.
With stars like Jamie Foxx, Beyoncé Knowles, Eddie Murphy and breakout actress Jennifer Hudson, it grossed $155 million worldwide. It was nominated for eight Oscars and won two, including best supporting actress for Hudson.
But a more recent film, “Cadillac Records,” flopped.
The 2008 American musical biopic, written and directed by Darnell Martin, was made for a modest $12 million, but only pulled in $8 million at the box office, despite starring Beyonce, Adrien Brody, Cedric the Entertainer and Mos Def.
Rob would certainly be taking a risk with a Presley movie, but at this stage of his career he can, and should take chances. Plus, it could be his first chance at working with Oscar material.
Problem is, there are no known Elvis movies in the works. Maybe there should be.
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