Elvis Presley is the latest famous figure to get the small-screen treatment. The late singer is the focus of a limited series in the works at Weinstein Television, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed.
TWC has struck a deal with Presley's estate that grants it the rights to Presley's extensive musical catalog and will also allow the production to be the first to shoot in Presley's Graceland home. Production also will have access to his cars, clothes and other items.
The eight- to 10-part series will be based on Elvis, Dave Marsh's 1982 book about the "Jailhouse Rock" singer. As part of the deal with the estate, production will have access to Presley's archives, which include his personal journals. A writer and network are not yet attached to the project.
Presley's ex-wife, Priscilla Presley, will executive produce with Jerry Schilling, Harvey Weinstein and David Glasser.
“I’m a big fan of Harvey Weinstein's independent films,” Priscilla Presley said Wednesday in a statement. “I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to work with him on this show and tell the story of how Elvis changed the culture of music and initiated a revolution that changed the world.”
Added Weinstein: “To this day, Elvis is one of the few that lives up to the word ‘icon.’ He is one of the most celebrated entertainers of all time whose influence surpasses the music he created. People’s fascination with his story goes beyond the stage and this biopic will pay homage to his brilliant legacy and give viewers an in-depth look at how he became ‘The King.'"
The deal was negotiated by David Glasser and Sarah Sobel on behalf of TWC and Corey Salter, Marc Rosen and Pamela Bebry on behalf of Authentic Brands Group, the owner of Elvis Presley Enterprises, LLC. Megan Spanjian, who oversees scripted television for TWC, will oversee the project.
“We are excited to work with Harvey Weinstein and the team on this special project,” said Authentic Brands Group chairman and CEO Jamie Salter. “Partnering with producers of this caliber enables us to provide viewers with a new and original experience that is as captivating as the King himself.”
This will not be the first TV project to center on the legendary musician. In 2005, Jonathan Rhys Meyers played Presley in a two-part miniseries for CBS — a role for which he won a Golden Globe. Presley still stands as the best-selling solo artist of all time, with estimated sales north of 600 million. The singer, who also starred in several films at the height of his popularity, died in 1977 at the age of 42.
The Weinstein Company's other TV projects include Netflix's historical drama Marco Polo, which TWC co-produces with the streaming giant, and unscripted entry Project Runway, as well as upcoming projects such as Sylvester Stallone and Antoine Fuqua's Omerta and a TV adaptation of Les Miserables, which it is co-producing with the BBC.