Kevin Macdonald Boards Last Train To Memphis

Director's next film will be an Elvis biopic

He's currently shooting submarine treasure-hunting drama Black Sea with Jude Law, but director Kevin Macdonald has just lined up his next project. Last Train To Memphis is a biopic of Elvis Presley, coming together at Fox, with a certain Mick Jagger among its producers.

Avoiding his portly years and his rather ignominious end, the film is based on Peter Guralnick's 1995 book Last Train To Memphis: The Rise Of Elvis Presley, and will cover Elvis' early years, from schoolboy in Mississippi and Tennessee, to his first "arrival" as a seemingly overnight sensation in the mid 1950s.

Film and TV Elvises (Elvisi?) in recent years have included Jonathan Rhys-Meyers (CBS' Elvis mini-series), Jack White (Walk Hard), Bruce Campbell (Bubba Ho-Tep) and Tyler Hilton (Walk The Line). Val Kilmer played him in True Romance, and Harvey Keitel played him in Finding Graceland, an action movie starring Kurt Russell, who played Elvis in the late '70s TV movie that was his first collaboration with John Carpenter.

This project's Elvis is likely to be an unknown however, with Fox launching an online open casting call. So hey, maybe some of our younger readers would like to apply. You just need to make a video of yourself singing eight bars of a pre-'57 Elvis song.

Jagger and Victoria Pearman's Jagged Films banner is also behind the developing James Brown biopic (possibly titled Get On Up), while Fox was the home of Walk The Line, which took the early-years approach to Johnny Cash. Macdonald is no stranger to music projects either, having helmed the excellent documentary Marley.

Screenwriter and blues musician John Fusco (Crossroads, Young Guns, Hidalgo) is currently at work on the Last Train To Memphis script. Macdonald's How I Live Now, starring Saoirse Ronan, is out in the UK on October 4.