Producers David Permut and Steve Binder have acquired screen rights to Alanna Nash’s 2003 book “The Colonel: The Extraordinary Story of Colonel Tom Parker and Elvis Presley.”
Permut and Binder will develop a feature titled “The Colonel” based on the book about the man with shadowy origins who reinvented himself as the Svengali behind the world’s most famous entertainer.
Parker started his showbiz career as a hustler on the carnival circuit before promoting Minnie Pearl and Eddy Arnold. Parker built Presley into a global music and film star — and took 50% of the spoils.
Nash dug deeply into Parker’s origins in the expose. While Parker always claimed to be American, Nash uncovered a past life in the Netherlands that included his possible involvement in the bludgeoning death of a female acquaintance.
Though that murder remains unsolved, Permut said the event may factor into the script because it’s one explanation of why Parker left abruptly for America and rarely ventured outside the U.S. Presley famously never went on a European tour because Parker didn’t want to go there.
Permut said he and Binder (who produced Presley’s 1968 comeback TV special) set up the project after hiring a writer and director. Steve Longi will be co-producer.
Permut is producing the Sigourney Weaver starrer “Prayers for Bobby” for Lifetime and “Youth in Revolt” for the Weinstein Co.
Nash’s book “Golden Girl: The Story of Jessica Savitch” became the basis for the Robert Redford-Michelle Pfeiffer film “Up Close and Personal.”