Of all the biopics that have been made over the years, from Ray Charles to Johnny Cash to Steve Jobs, nobody can really remember a note-worthy depiction of the life of Elvis Presley. While Elvis’ life has been covered by several Hollywood directors over the years, a film in the stylings of Walk the Line or Ray has yet to be made for the King of Rock n Roll, but that will hopefully be changing very soon. Director Baz Luhrmann (Romeo + Juliet, The Great Gatsby) will be directing a new project based on Presley’s life for Warner Bros. studios from a script by Kelly Marcel (Saving Mr. Banks, Fifty Shades of Grey), but we still don’t know what the main focus of the movie will be. Hopefully we will see the early days of Elvis and his impact on American culture and the music industry and then a steady transition over the years to his orchestra-backing days in the 1970s before his untimely death. As is the case with many musical biopics like Ray and Walk The Line, which seem to focus on the musician’s struggle with drugs from an underlying personal demon, Elvis had plenty to cope with himself, including the death of his identical twin brother at birth and his relationship with manager Colonel Tom Parker, so Luhrmann and Marcel should have plenty of material to work with, so we’ll see what they come up with.
Forrest Gump was first published as a novel in 1986 by author Winston Groom. The book was then adapted into the award winning film by director Robert Zemeckis and actor Tom Hanks in 1994, in what is probably his most famous role to date. The story follows Forrest Gump, a southern man with an IQ of 75, and his lifelong friend Jenny Curran as they live out the course of their lives in the turbulent latter half of twentieth century America. Beginning in the 1950s with Elvis Presley and the early Civil Rights demonstrations, Forrest goes on to play college football, become a war hero in Vietnam, go to China as an international ping-pong player, and run across the United States for 3 years, ending up in the 1980s and the Reagan administration.
The movie costars Gary Sinise, Robin Wright, and Sally Field, and features appearances by some noteworthy historical figures such as JFK, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, George Wallace, Dick Cavett, John Lennon, and Abbey Hoffman thanks to the film’s award winning visual effects. Hanks’ portrayal of the character won him an Academy Award for Best Actor, but his adaptation was much softer than the author originally envisioned. The movie won 6 Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Screenplay, Best Director, Best Actor, and Best Film Editing and Visual Effects. Since it was first released in 1994 the movie has become a cultural phenomenon and is known as one of Tom Hanks most famous roles. Hanks and Zemeckis reunited for Cast Away in 2000, which also earned Hanks another Oscar nomination. Forrest Gump will turn 20 years old this July, so be sure to celebrate sometime this year.