British musician Yola will play singer Sister Rosetta Tharpe — dubbed the Godmother of rock and roll — in Baz Luhrmann’s musical drama “Elvis,” sources tell Variety.
The Warner Bros. film stars Austin Butler in the title role, Tom Hanks as Elvis Presley’s manager Colonel Tom Parker, Maggie Gyllenhaal as Presley’s mother and Rufus Sewell as his father.
Luhrmann co-wrote the script with Craig Pearce and Sam Bromell. 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, expected to go into production this spring, marks Luhrmann’s first film since his 2013 adaptation of “The Great Gatsby” starring Leonardo DiCaprio. He most recently worked on Netflix’s music-driven series “The Get Down.”
Tharpe was a rock and roll pioneer who gained popularity in the 1930s and ’40s through her experimental gospel recordings. She was an early influence on Presley’s career.
Yola released her critically acclaimed, genre-bending debut album “Walk Through Fire” in February 2019. Nine months later, she received four Grammy Award nominations, including best new artist.
The album, produced by Dan Auerbach, is a contemporary twist on traditional orchestral strings, fiddle, steel and guitars.
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