Rufus Sewell will portray the reserved, soft-spoken Vernon Presley, the King of Rock and Roll’s father, in Baz Luhrmann’s “Elvis,” sources tell Variety.
The Warner Bros. film stars Austin Butler in the title role and Tom Hanks as Elvis Presley’s manger, Colonel Tom Parker.
Luhrmann co-wrote the script with Craig Pearce. The movie revolves around the veteran manager and the young singer, who came from dirt-poor origins to become an icon who changed the course of music history. The project marks Luhrmann’s first film since his 2013 adaptation of “The Great Gatsby” starring Leonardo DiCaprio. He most recently worked on the Netflix series “The Get Down.” Production is expected to start this spring.
Throughout his career, Presley talked about his devotion to his mother, Gladys, constantly calling her his number one girl. The close relationship is said to have continued when the musician’s career took off and during Gladys’ bout of depression due to his time away from home. Vernon Presley was a man who, though outwardly proud of his talented son, was said to be deeply insecure. Though tasked with the management of Elvis’ finances, he was unqualified for the job and plagued by a constant fear of returning to their earlier life of poverty.
Sewell most recently starred as Sid Luft alongside Renee Zellweger in “Judy,” and with Anthony Hopkins and Olivia Colman in “The Father.” He will next be seen as the lead in BBC1 and Amazon’s miniseries “The Pale Horse” on the heels of four seasons of the latter’s acclaimed “The Man in the High Castle.” He was also featured in Amazon’s second season of the award-winning “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” a role which garnered him a 2019 Emmy Award nomination for guest actor in a comedy series.
He is repped by CAA and Julian Belfrage Associates.
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