An airing of A STAR IS BORN causes Elvis's closest confidant to reflect on the period when Presley fought for that role to rebuild his shattered life.
Script Type: Feature
Genre: Drama / Musical
Length: 110 pages
Est. Budget: Over $10M
The story begins in 2015 with a celebration at Graceland for what would have been Elvis's 80th birthday. Later, as PRISCILLA PRESLEY, 69, JOE ESPOSITO, 77, and TROY MANNING, 73, reminisce about Elvis, A STAR IS BORN airs on television. They discuss how different Elvis's life might have been if he had co-starred in that film.
Later in his hotel room, Troy recalls the evening Barbra discussed A Star Is Born with Elvis as well as the devastation that followed when Elvis's controlling manager, TOM PARKER, 67, wouldn't allow him to audition for the role. Guilt-ridden he didn't do more to help, Troy imagines a revised life for Elvis if he had encouraged him to fire Parker and audition for the role Barbra did offer Presley in 1975.
The story transitions to 1973, where Troy, then 31, moves into Graceland as Elvis's hairstylist and becomes Presley's closest confidant. Troy encourages ELVIS, then 38, to take control of his life, and Presley fires Parker and auditions for the role which comes down to Elvis and KRIS KRISTOFFERSON, 40.
While waiting for the outcome, Elvis continues with his booked tours. While he performs in Vegas, a crazy groupie shoots at PRISCILLA, then 28, in the casino singing Elvis's bodyguard, JOE ESPOSITO, 35, in the shoulder. A team of bodyguards led by RUSTY WARD, 37, hurries Elvis to safety.
Priscilla returns to Graceland while Elvis completes a grueling tour that escalates his growing drug problem. Elvis and Priscilla's already-crumbling marriage worsens, and they divorce. Shortly after that, as Barbra, then 31, tells Elvis he won the role, Parker dies in a freak car accident. Shattered, Elvis accidentally overdoses. Troy, Joe, Rusty, and DR. NEWMAN, 50s, nurse Elvis through the withdrawal process at Graceland.
Not fully recovered, Elvis honors a singing engagement and freezes onstage when he forgets the words to a song. Humiliated and broken, Elvis begs Dr. Newman for drugs, and when he refuses, Elvis gets drunk and takes off in his Lincoln. Rusty jumps in the car to help and Elvis tears off and crashes, killing Rusty and seriously injuring himself. After physically recovering, Elvis checks himself into a private clinic and, through therapy, finally understands the reasons for his addictions.
A changed man, Elvis returns to Graceland ready to begin the role, but Barbara informs Elvis the studio thinks he's a risk. Barbra advises him to get something going so she can convince them to change their minds. After discovering the industry has blackballed him, Elvis hires CALEB MORRISON, 20's, to manage his career. After some small roles, Caleb lands Elvis a starring role in the movie In the Ghetto. Before the film hits the theaters, Elvis learns the studio plans to replace him with Kris.
Elvis refuses to give up on his dream and comes up with an idea to salvage it. His plan works, and after a challenging shoot, Elvis receives an Academy Award nomination. He doesn't win, but Elvis tells his loved ones that he feels optimistic about life.
The story returns to 2015 with Joe, Troy, and Priscilla reflecting at Elvis's gravestone.
About This ScreenplayThis screenplay received a recommend from the following professional evaluation services: Dave Trottier, author of "The Screenwriter's Bible" [www.keepwriting.com], Jacob Stuart, founder of "Screenwriter Staffing" [www.screenwritingstaffing.com] and "Screenplay Readers" [www.screenplayreaders.com].
It was a quarter-finalist in "WriteMovies Summer 2016 Competition" [www.writemovies.com/summer-2016-competition].
I was born and raised in Mississippi where Elvis was revered as "The King." I've watched numerous documentaries on his life and logged in hundreds of hours of research. I have always loved Presley, Streisand and A STAR IS BORN. When I read that Barbra offered Elvis the lead role that ultimately went to Kristofferson, I immediately began wondering if this role might have changed the outcome of Elvis' life. With this idea formed, I started my research in 2002, but it took many years before I would finish the script.
Below are two direct quotes from one of my evaluations:
"Elvis feels real. He feels alive. There's something about his dialogue that brings him back. I feel like I'm sitting there with him. Playing pool. Watching a movie. Talking about life. He's the perfect hero; maybe even an anti-hero? The toughest part about writing about "real" people is keeping their voice. I think you nailed it!"
"I can't think of any spec scripts that give me goosebumps. I study up on a lot of produced scripts where a line or scene may give me goosebumps -- but not something unproduced. There were several moments in this script where my I got chills or my hair-raised. The scene on pages 62-64 being one of them. It's quite impressive that you can make a character (Troy) more complex than Elvis in a scene that Elvis is actually in!"
I firmly believe this unique spin on Presley's life will appeal to hardcore Elvis fans and will also generate a younger audience as BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY and A STAR IS BORN 2018 have. The success of these two films is proof that people of all ages are interested in films of this nature.
And last, but not least, in this script, ELVIS LIVES!!!