Apple abandons Elvis biopic following Harvey Weinstein allegations


Jailhouse Rock
Elvis biopic could have been the first of several Apple Music biopics.
Photo: MGM/Wikipedia CC

Following the continuing allegations about sexual harassment by Weinstein Company movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, Apple has reportedly scrapped plans for an Elvis Presley biopic original series, which would have been produced by the Weinstein Company.

The deal was in its early stages, and was brought to Apple by former Sony executives Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg, who joined Apple earlier this year. This series could have been the first part of a series of similar biopics, with later instalments focusing on Prince and Michael Jackson.

Weinstein was let go from the company he co-founded on Sunday evening, following the New York Times report, which first stated the allegations, on Thursday.

The proposed Elvis series was proceeding with the full agreement of the Elvis Presley estate. It would have been 8-10 parts, filmed in the late singer’s Graceland home, using various props from his career, and drawing on archives including personal journals.

Apple’s original TV efforts

The Elvis series would have been one of Apple’s proposed big budget shows, designed to let the company compete with giants such as Netflix and Amazon, as well as smaller upstarts including Hulu.

Although Apple’s first efforts in this department, the reality TV shows Planet of the Apps and Carpool Karaoke: The Series, have been critical flops, Apple is supposedly readying $1 billion to spend on launching additional shows.

As well as an Elvis biopic, Apple is supposedly battling with Netflix over the rights to a new original drama series starring Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon, and may even be throwing its name in the hat to acquire the rights to the James Bond franchise.

In addition, Apple is also said to be considering setting up shop in iconic old-Hollywood address the Culver Studios to expand its production operation.

Source: Deadline