Tom Hanks is currently in negotiations to portray Elvis Presley's infamous manager, Colonel Tom Parker. The untitled Elvis biopic is being shot for Warner Bros. by The Great Gatsby and Moulin Rouge! filmmaker, Baz Luhrmann. Parker, who was born on 1909 in the Netherlands, was a carnival barker before becoming Elvis' manager in 1954 with the Presley estate finally forcing him out in 1983. Parker died of a stroke in 1997.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, “Parker was a scrappy Dutch-born hustler who never became a citizen and gained his rank of 'colonel' as an honorary title. He was struggling as a music manager when he came across Presley in the mid-1950's and was blown away by the young man's talent. Over the course of two years, he paid off all other agents and managers in the singer's life to chart himself as the exclusive rep. From there, he guided Presley to the national stage and helped make him into something America had never seen before.”
Former Memphis Mafia member Jerry Schilling, who now serves as the president of the Beach Boys' Brother Records Incorporated, published his memoir Me And A Guy Named Elvis: My Lifelong Friendship With Elvis Presley in 2006. Schilling admitted to us that writing about Colonel Tom Parker proved difficult for him: “It was the hardest character to deal with in the book. Did he do some things, in my humble opinion, I didn't agree with? Yes. Did I talk to him about it? Yes. (Laughs) Not every time, but when I felt passionate enough to. There was a real respect there. And if you really wanted to get down to where the power was, it was in Elvis. Don't think the Colonel didn't know that.”