Elvis Presley Manager Biopic ‘The Colonel’ in Development (EXCLUSIVE)

Colonel Tom Parker Elvis Presley
REX/Shutterstock

Spencer Proffer, Steve Binder, and Joe Berlinger are developing a feature film about Elvis Presley’s manger Colonel Tom Parker.

Production is slated for early 2018. Parker, who died in 1997 at age 87, arrived in America as a 20-year old undocumented Dutch immigrant, and took great pains to hide his past. Before leaving Holland, he might have committed murder.

The screenplay will be based on Alanna Nash’s book, “The Colonel: The Extraordinary Story of Colonel Tom Parker and Elvis Presley,” published by Simon & Schuster and one of four Presley books she authored. The team will work from an outline developed by Nash and Berlinger, and Nash will co-write the screenplay.

Parker became Presley’s manager in 1956 shortly before the singer broke out with the single “Heartbreak Hotel.” He remained the manager until Presley’s death in 1977.

“I have wanted to work with Joe for years, given his unique filmmaker’s eye toward marrying music-anchored stories with dramatic storytelling,” said Proffer. “Given that I am a big fan of his Metallica and Paul Simon films, plus Joe’s award-winning crime documentaries, he became my first choice to direct this evergreen and important film. Parker’s story has such a dark edge, and this is precisely why Berlinger’s combo of crime and music documentaries lends the perfect tone for the film.”

Binder’s credits include producing and directing the 1968 NBC special “Elvis.” “I look forward to working with Spencer, Joe, and Alanna on the making of this film. The Colonel’s ‘real’ story has never been told, and I promise it will have you on the edge of your seat. I was there and I knew the Colonel. Move over P.T. Barnum, the ride is about to begin!”

Berlinger was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary for 2011’s “Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory” and has received seven Emmy nominations. His credits include “Brother’s Keeper,” “Metallica: Some King of Monster,” “Crude,” “Under African Skies,” and “Intent to Destroy.”

“Throughout my career I have tackled unexpected and surprising stories, going beyond the easy headline to get to the truth of the real story,” Berlinger said. “And in ‘The Colonel,’ I see the same exciting opportunity.”

Berlinger is currently in pre-production for the feature film “Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile,” a Ted Bundy biopic starring Zac Efron.

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    1. DACON9 says:

      PARKER was responsible for ELVIS death in a big way. When Elvis wanted to hide away for a weekend rest, parker would announce where he is hiding never giving Elvis a chance to rest. ELVIS WAS HONORABLE EVEN WHEN PARKER WAS APPROACHED THAT HE IS TAKING TREMENDOUS ADVANTAGE OF ELVIS BY HIS DEMANDING 50% OF ELVIS EARNINGS. parker made a settlement with Pricilla on finances. Silent rumor is that Elvis was dying of cancer. He was in hospital many times for ”’twisted colon”. The autopsy report at his death of drugs in his system were cancer drugs. He was found on the bathroom floor which is also a symptom of a heart attack feeling like one had to move his bowels. parker was a real slick dirt bag. I am not interested in anything concerning parker. I would love to know more about ‘Ann Margarets tremendous feelings she had for Elvis.When SHE WAS INTERVIEWED SHE TEARED A LOT OVER HIM. I think it was the Charlie rose show. Its on ‘youtube’.

    2. RGN says:

      Billy Gardell IS Tom Parker. And he’s already playing him on TV.

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