By M. Scott Morris
TUPELO – Hey, baby, they’re making a big-budget movie about Elvis Presley and they need an Elvis.
“The Last Train to Memphis” is scheduled to start filming in the fall.
“We’re looking for somebody to play Elvis between the ages of 16 and 22,” Laray Mayfield, casting director, said during a phone interview from Los Angeles.
The movie is based on Peter Guralnick’s book of the same name.
“It’s going to be dealing with Elvis and the relationships he had and the things he was dealing with going from a young man to an adult,” she said.
It won’t be a musical, but as Mayfield said, “It would be hard to tell a story about Elvis and not include music.”
She invited potential young Kings of Rock ’n’ Roll to visit www.lasttraincasting.com to learn how to produce a video audition.
“It has a monologue for them to do,” she said. “We’re looking for them to perform a song for us. They can sing a cappella, or if they play acoustic guitar, they can play guitar and sing. We’re looking for them to play any song written prior to 1955.”
This isn’t about an impersonation or a tribute. She’s not looking for someone to channel Elvis.
“We’re looking for a person who is incredibly talented with his acting ability and his music ability who can embody the essence of Elvis at that time in his life,” Mayfield said.
“The Last Train to Memphis” will be a Fox 2000 feature, and Mick Jagger is one of the producers. Kevin Macdonald, who directed “The Last King of Scotland,” will direct.
Locations haven’t been chosen, but Mayfield, who’s from Nashville, said she hopes portions will be shot in Memphis and Mississippi.
Her credits include “Fight Club,” “The Social Network” and “House of Cards.”
“I will promise you that we are all committed to making the best film about this period of time in Elvis’ life and doing it with the most integrity and honor and creativity that we possibly can,” she said. “I’m excited about doing the casting on this movie. It’s incredibly meaningful to me being from Tennessee and the Southern connection.”