Jonathan… as Elvis!
Jonathan has been cast to play Elvis Presley in a CBS 4 hour mini-series on the rock and roll legend. Filming starts in January in New Orleans with an expected airdate during May sweeps. This is the first biopic that has the approval of the Presley estate. Which means it can use original recordings of his music. Robert Greenblatt and David Janollari from HBO’s Six Feet Under are producing.
“He was the first person I’d ever thought of for the role,” said exec producer Howard Braunstein. “I watched Bend It Like Beckham and when you see him, you just say, ‘He is Elvis.’ But at the time he wasn’t available, so we started the search. … He both has the physical look and the style that embodies Elvis, both the sweetness and the sex appeal.”
The nationwide publicity stunt, er, casting search lasted just long enough for Rhys-Meyers’ schedule to open up and allow him to accept the role. “Frankly, we never found anyone that really embodied the essence of Elvis,” Braunstein added. “There were those who looked like Elvis or sounded like Elvis, but they were imitators, not actors.”
Greenblatt reportedly said “Rhys-Myers didn’t audition for the gig but did shoot a piece of film in which he was made up like Elvis and showed off his King-ly accent. ‘It was uncanny. . .the dialogue sounded so authentic.’”