One piece of the Elvis Presley family tree has fallen into place. Per Variety, Maggie Gyllenhaal will be playing Gladys Presley, mother of the king of rock and roll, in the upcoming musical biopic Elvis from director Baz Luhrmann. Gyllenhaal joins the already cast Austin Butler as Elvis himself, and Tom Hanks as Colonel Tom Parker, Elvis’ manager.
The Warner Bros. film, with a screenplay co-written by Luhrmann and regular collaborator Craig Pearce, will focus on Elvis’ dramatic journey from poverty to superstardom. Along the way, he stayed steadfast in his devotion to his mother Gladys, with the singer always taking care of her even during the pinnacle of his stardom (stardom which helped exacerbate Gladys’ eventual descent into depression).
Gyllenhaal recently finished up her run on HBO’s adult film industry-set drama The Deuce, and can be seen in Netflix film The Kindergarten Teacher. She also played the role of “supporter of an eccentric performer” in the underseen indie Frank. Butler had a big 2019, playing clutch supporting roles in Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood and The Dead Don’t Die. Hanks also had a great 2019, delivering an Oscar-nominated performance in A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood and voicing Woody once again in Toy Story 4. Luhrmann and Pearce most recently brought musical drama The Get Down to Netflix, but haven’t made a film since 2013’s The Great Gatsby adaptation.