×

Rufus Sewell to Play Elvis Presley’s Father in Baz Luhrmann’s Musical Drama (EXCLUSIVE)

Rufus Sewell will portray the reserved, soft-spoken Vernon Presley, the King of Rock and Roll’s father, in Baz Luhrmann’s “Elvis,” sources tell Variety.

The Warner Bros. film stars Austin Butler in the title role and Tom Hanks as Elvis Presley’s manger, Colonel Tom Parker.

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 marks Luhrmann’s first film since his 2013 adaptation of “The Great Gatsby” starring Leonardo DiCaprio. He most recently worked on the Netflix series “The Get Down.” Production is expected to start this spring.

Throughout his career, Presley talked about his devotion to his mother, Gladys, constantly calling her his number one girl. The close relationship is said to have continued when the musician’s career took off and during Gladys’ bout of depression due to his time away from home. Vernon Presley was a man who, though outwardly proud of his talented son, was said to be deeply insecure. Though tasked with the management of Elvis’ finances, he was unqualified for the job and plagued by a constant fear of returning to their earlier life of poverty.

Sewell most recently starred as Sid Luft alongside Renee Zellweger in “Judy,” and with Anthony Hopkins and Olivia Colman in “The Father.” He will next be seen as the lead in BBC1 and Amazon’s miniseries “The Pale Horse” on the heels of four seasons of the latter’s acclaimed “The Man in the High Castle.” He was also featured in Amazon’s second season of the award-winning “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” a role which garnered him a 2019 Emmy Award nomination for guest actor in a comedy series.

He is repped by CAA and Julian Belfrage Associates.

More Film

  • Premature

    'Premature': Film Review

    There’s poetry in “Premature” — literally, if not always cinematically. Zora Howard, a spoken word artist and sometime actor who reunites with director Rashaad Ernesto Green for his second feature (they collaborated more than a decade earlier on a short of the same name), plays Ayanna, a tentatively romantic Harlem teenager navigating a relationship for [...]

  • Jamila Wenske

    Berlin: Jamila Wenske's Achtung Panda! Producing 'Elbow,' 'Arabic Interpreter' (EXCLUSIVE)

    German producer Jamila Wenske of Berlin-based Achtung Panda! Media has boarded two upcoming projects that explore facets of the immigrant experience in Germany. Asli Özarslan’s “Elbow” follows the turbulent life of a young Turkish woman in Berlin and her decision to move to Istanbul, while Ali Kareem Obaid’s “The Arabic Interpreter” centers on a frustrated, [...]

  • Harvey Weinstein deliberation

    Weinstein Jury Ends Day With Request for Annabella Sciorra's Testimony, No Verdict

    The jurors in the Harvey Weinstein trial ended their third day of deliberations on Thursday with a request to hear the testimony of Annabella Sciorra. The jury has now been deliberating for more than 14 hours, and will return for further deliberations on Friday morning. In a note to the judge late Thursday afternoon, the [...]

  • Goldie Hawn Bette Midler Diane Keaton

    Goldie Hawn, Bette Midler and Diane Keaton Re-Team for 'Family Jewels' Comedy

    Goldie Hawn, Bette Midler and Diane Keaton are starring in the family comedy “Family Jewels” for New Republic Pictures. It’s a reunion for the trio, 24 years after they starred in the Paramount comedy “The First Wives Club.” New Republic is planning a 2020 production start for “Family Jewels.” New Republic principals Brian Oliver and [...]

  • EFM Euro Film Policy Seminar

    Berlin: European Film Policy Seminar Examines Changing Landscape

    The Berlinale’s European Film Market opened on Thursday with the inaugural European Film Politics Seminar, offering a look at the pressing challenges facing independent European producers in a fast-changing landscape increasingly dominated by the growing number of U.S. streaming giants. The seminar was hosted by Steven Gaydos, executive vice president of global content of Variety. [...]

  • Parasite

    'Parasite' to Get Digitally Re-Mastered Imax Release for One Week

    Imax is releasing a digitally re-mastered version of Bong Joon Ho’s “Parasite” for a one-week run at select Imax locations starting Friday. “Parasite” is the first non-English-language movie ever to win the Oscar for best picture. The South Korean film took in $5.7 million at 2,002 domestic locations during the post-Oscar weekend, lifting its cumulative [...]

  • My Salinger Year

    'My Salinger Year': Film Review

    A writer writes, but there’s no evidence that Joanna Rakoff can even type when she takes the job as an assistant working for literary agent Phyllis Westberg in “My Salinger Year.” Because Rakoff went on to pen a book-length memoir about her time working for Westberg, who represented reclusive writer J.D. Salinger, we can rest [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content