September 4, 2013 - 16:57 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Mick Jagger has found the best man to serve behind the lens for a new project he works on with 20th Century Fox. As AceShowbiz reported citing Variety, Kevin MacDonald, who directed "The Last King of Scotland", has been tapped to helm an Elvis Presley biopic entitled "Last Train to Memphis".
The flick is based on the 1995 Peter Guralnick biography which is adapted by John Fusco. It chronicles the King of Rock and Roll's early years and his transformation from a high school kid to an overnight sensation credited with ushering in a radical new era in music.
“In the extraordinary Last Train to Memphis: the Rise of Elvis Presley, writer Peter Guralnick has done the impossible: He has brought a freshness, an innocence, and a seriousness to the life of Elvis Presley. By now, the singer is so many things to so many people, he's become a kind of free-floating American id: venerated hero and national joke; all-purpose icon representing sex, drugs, and rock & roll, as well as artistic genius and pathetic excess,” a review published in the Entertainment Weekly said.
“Guralnick, author of first-rate collections of musician profiles such as Lost Highway and Feel Like Going Home, notes that what he wanted to do in Last Train to Memphis was to ''rescue Elvis Presley from the dreary bondage of myth, from the oppressive aftershock of cultural significance.'' To accomplish this, he interviewed scores of people, plowed through the mini-industry of Presley publishing, and then wiped the slate clean: Guralnick gives us a life of Elvis as if it had never been told before, and in a sense, it hasn't, not this way.
Guralnick's Presley is a much-loved, pampered only child, raised in desperately poor conditions by his parents.
This crippling sense of social inequality was passed on to Elvis, even as he matured into a teenager unusually determined to make it as a professional singer. The man who produced Presley's first recordings, Sun Records' Sam Phillips, made a striking comment about the young Presley: ''He tried not to show it, but he felt so inferior. He reminded me of a black man in that way; his insecurity was so markedly like that of a black person.'' This is the great subtext of Guralnick's book: that Presley and the people who first brought him to the attention of a mass public were intensely interested in African- American music-blues, R&B, jazz-to the point where they personally identified with blacks as an oppressed people.
Last Train is filled with great stories both large and small. These range from meticulous re-creations of Elvis' early recording sessions-scenes illustrating that Presley, possessed of an enormous natural talent, was also a self-conscious artist well aware that he was creating revolutionary popular music-to the singer's succinct endorsement of Adlai Stevenson for President in 1956: ''I don't dig the intellectual bit, but I'm telling you, man, he knows the most.''
True to its subtitle, Last Train to Memphis stops in 1958, when Presley has risen to unprecedented prominence—''He was a recording star, he was a movie star, he was a servant of the Lord and the master of his own destiny,'' writes Guralnick,” according to the review.
Jagger will produce with his Jagged Films partner Victoria Pearman and Steven Bing, who will produce under his Shangri-La banner. The search for young Elvis Presley is underway with the launch of a website where actors can submit audition tapes singing six to eight bars of any Presley song.
Jagger will also be involved as a producer in the production of a James Brown biopic, entitled "Get on Up", with "42" star Chadwick Boseman as the lead. As for MacDonald, he recently made a doc about the reggae legend Bob Marley.