On October 24, the Hollywood Reporter broke the news that a movie would be made about Elvis’ 1970 meeting with President Richard Nixon at the Whitehouse. Within 24 hours, the story was on dozens of websites and media sources.
My first reaction was – hey, this had been done before. Somebody already made a movie about the Nixon/Elvis meeting, and I have a copy of it on an old video tape. I dug it out of my collection of Elvis-related movies. There is some strange and funny stuff in there that I need to watch again someday.
Next I did a lot of Google searches about Elvis and Nixon, and before long, I had material for three different ElvisBlog articles. For the first one, let’s start with Eric Bana, the actor chosen to portray Elvis in the new movie.
The obvious question is — can they make him look like a believable Elvis. The above photo used on the Hollywood Reporter story might make you wonder. Another question might be about what movie credits Eric Bana has on his resume. We can answer both questions by looking at some shots from his movies.
Here he is as Sgt. First Class “Hoot” Gibson in Black Hawk Down from 2002. He sort of has the “Charro” look with sunglasses. Good, strong facial feature.
In 2003, Eric Bana played Bruce Banner who turned into Hulk after being hit by an experimental ray.
Here he is playing Prince Hector in Troy from 2004. If that is his own hair, they certainly can fix it to look like Elvis. They will also need to work on the nose a bit, too.
In Munich from 2005, Eric Bana played Avner, the Mossad agent on the four-man unit created to wipe out the Olympic terrorists. Too bad Elvis wasn’t bearded when he met Nixon, because Bana looks good that way.
Another role without a heavy beard. Here Bana plays Henry in The Time Traveler’s Wife from 2009. Colored contact lenses could easily change the eye color from brown to blue.
Bana plays evil Captain Nemo in Star Trek, also released in 2009. Of course Eric Bana looks nothing like Elvis here, but it does show the kind of transformation the make-up artists can pull off.
This partial revue of Eric Bana’s films shows he has handled a variety of acting rolls and should do fine portraying Elvis. He is an Australian who has learned to sound like an American, and should have no trouble learning to speak like a good old boy from Mississippi.
The next two photos did not come from any movies. One is a candid shot of Bana walking down the street, and the other is a publicity still.
Finally, we have a publicity photo that should convince anybody that Eric Bana is the man to play Elvis. There’s an old joke about rating someone as minus zero on the Elvis Scale. If the scale is 1 to 10, I think Eric Bana gets about a 9.
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