CBS is whipping up a big hunk of burnin' love for the King of Rock 'n Roll a new four-hour movie about Elvis Presley. The film, tentatively titled "Elvis" will be the first-ever TV movie to use the master recordings of some of Presley's biggest hits, according to Variety.
It's slated to air sometime next season, presumably during a sweeps period. The actor who will play Elvis has not yet been cast. But co-producer Howard Braunstein says the most important element for going forward with the film was getting Presley's estate involved.
"We thought that if you're going to do this right, you just can't do it without their cooperation", said Braunstein. "They're going to open their archives for us, and that means we really get first-hand information about his life rather than just some biography".
Past TV projects about Presley have used Elvis sound-alikes to record the King's songs, while individual songs have been licensed for some feature film soundtracks. "When our Elvis actor opens up his mouth, it'll be Elvis' voice that comes out," said co-producer Robert Greenblatt. The producers are also promising a "warts and all" version of Presley's story, despite the cooperation of the singer's estate. "The estate understands that you need to tell the true version of his story," says Braunstein. "And hopefully, with access to the archives, we can learn all sorts of new and provocative things. 'The estate is not afraid of doing the darker side [of Presley]" says Braunstein. "It just wants it done with class and integrity, like. [2001's] Judy Garland [made for-TV] movie.
Although there have been many Elvis TV movies and feature films in the past, Braunstein thinks there's still room for another King-themed project. The film's producers say that "Elvis" will not follow the singer's whole life, but will focus on just one part of it. However, they are not sure which part yet. Presley died in 1977 at the age of 42 from a heart attack.
Source: Variety / Updated: Jun 11, 2004