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.