3 Movies We Wish Elvis Had Made
To mark the release of Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis (2022), we imagine what it’d look like if Elvis was alive and acting today.
Baz Luhrmann’s musical biopic, Elvis, comes out today. By most accounts, the director of Romeo + Juliet and Moulin Rouge delivered a spectacular film—it already has a 79% rating (out of 136 reviews) on Rotten Tomatoes.
We’re stoked to see Elvis but also nostalgic for the corny-cool Elvis flicks (Viva Las Vegas, Jailhouse Rock, Love Me Tender, et al.) that we used to watch late at night. And that makes us wonder: Had he lived, would Elvis still be making movies today?
Elvis Presley in Jailhouse Rock. (Public Domain/Library of Congress)
Viva Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
In this remake of Terry Gilliam’s 1998 adaptation of Hunter S. Thompson’s book Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Elvis could play Dr. Gonzo (a.k.a. Oscar “Zeta” Acosta Fierro, Thompson’s real-life attorney and friend). Shia LaBeouf would play Thompson’s Raoul Duke character.
Elvis and LaBoeuf decide to go gonzo and actually do all of the drugs depicted in the story. At first, the production benefits from the realism contributed by its stars. But the script calls for things to get weird, so they do.
Between takes, Elvis and LaBeouf share generously with the cast and crew. Soon real life is indistinguishable from the semi-fiction they’re supposed to be filming. LaBoeuf has his assistant summon a double-decker party bus.
On the top deck, Elvis and LaBeouf feel the wind in their hair, the Vegas lights in their eyes, and the substances in their veins. Inspired, LaBoeuf proposes, the King accepts, and LaBoeuf tells the driver to go to a drive-thru chapel where (unbeknownst to the King) they’ll be married by an Elvis impersonator.
Seeing his doppelganger, Elvis freaks. He starts throwing his ring-adorned hands, ultimately killing the other “King.” The production fails to get back on track. But LaBoeuf will eventually cut the footage into a short film, Peanut Butter and Banana Boy, dedicated to his imprisoned love.
Stream Viva Las Vegas free on Roku with the Movieland.Tv app.
In this riveting musical prison drama, Elvis is arrested and convicted for a decades-old public lewdness charge because of his legendary gyrations. The King is branded a sex offender and must learn to survive in a twenty-first-century prison.
Elvis struggles at first, not wanting to join the Aryan Brotherhood but also not vibing with the black prisoners, who aren’t the bluesmen he remembers. Instead, they make some silly music called “trap.” Finally, a DJ/producer/pusher named Yung Pelvis recognizes Elvis, renames him Tha Kang, writes him a beat, and shows him how to rap over it.
The new track “Jailhouse Trap (feat. Yung Pelvis and Crip Mac)” is a hit, and the whole cell block dances just like in the OG Jailhouse Rock. It appears that Elvis has brought harmony to the West Tennessee State Penitentiary and commenced his second come-up.
Then the music stops, and the dancers disperse. We see that Yung Pelvis was shanked while everyone was distracted, which neatly sets up a revenge sequel, Jailhouse Trap II: Pelvis is Dead, Elvis is Mad.
Love Me Tinder
Elvis, newly resurrected (this will happen) and single, creates a Tinder profile. Since the King loves the ladies, he swipes right on every one. Sadly, he gets no matches. Women his age don’t believe he’s real, and younger women see only a pervy boomer.
Dejected, Elvis tries Bumble. And Hinge. And something called Grindr, which he actually thought was a sandwich delivery app.
But Elvis is drawn back to Tinder’s smooth, intuitive user experience and hard-to-get ladies. He goes back to swiping right on every woman, figuring it’s a numbers game and his luck will change.
Tinder becomes an addiction. Several times a day, the King spends upwards of 90 minutes on his throne, swiping and hoping. Being sedentary causes him to develop a blood clot that leads to a pulmonary embolism, and—poetically—Elvis dies on the toilet for a second time.