Cary Elwes is set to make his directorial debut with Elvis & Nixon, a film that chronicles the strange but true meeting between the king and the president. Eric Bana will play Elvis while Danny Huston will play Nixon. No word on if footage of the late Ossie Davis will be used for flashbacks of the landmark Kennedy/Nixon television debate.
The encounter between Elvis and Nixon took place on December 21, 1970. Elvis initiated the meeting by writing President Nixon an impassioned five-page letter. (Elvis only wrote three other letters in his life prior to this one, all of them while he was stationed in Germany during the war.) In this missive, he said that he wanted to serve his country as a federal agent at-large in the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs. Nixon gave Elvis a specially made badge from the Bureau, and as a sign of gratitude, Elvis gave Nixon some family photos and a Colt .45 pistol.
Proof that the universe is beautiful and life is worth living: all of the previous paragraph is 100% true.
A little more info about the Elvis/Nixon meeting and a clip from a previous Elvis/Nixon movie after the jump. Hoo-hah![Via Deadline]
According to the National Security Archive, reproductions of this photo are the most requested document in their holdings, beating out the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Fact: you now want to request a copy of it from the National Security Archive if you do not have a copy already.
There’s a much longer and stranger account of the blessed event and what led up to it in a January 2010 article from the Los Angeles Times. The article relays the story as told by Jerry Schilling, part of Elvis’s inner circle and a close friend. One of many highlights from the wonderfully oddball yarn:
The next morning, it comes out that Vernon, Elvis’ father, and Priscilla, his wife, were bugging him about how he spent his money. This aggravated the king, so all by himself he got on the first plane going out, which happened to be bound for Washington. Things did not go well.
For starters, a “smart aleck little steward” with a mustache discovers Elvis is carrying a gun — it was his habit to carry at least three — and informs him he cannot bring a firearm on the airplane. Elvis, unaccustomed to being told what to do, storms off and is chased down by the pilot: “I’m sorry, Mr. Presley, of course you can keep your gun.” Elvis and his firearm reboard.
Upon arriving in the nation’s capital, Elvis decides he wants a doughnut. While waiting for his order, he encounters some unsavory types who notice his five big gold rings and three necklaces.
“That’s some nice jewelry,” one thug says.
“Yeah, and I aim to keep it,” says Elvis, raising one leg of his bell bottoms to reveal a snub-nosed revolver strapped to his right ankle.
Straight outta of Bubba Ho-Tep, baby. That’s just the way it is.
This isn’t the only film about this strange meeting of royalty and Tricky. There was a 1997 made-for-Showtime movie called Elvis Meets Nixon about the same incident. Rick Peters played Elvis and Bob Gunton (the warden from Shawshank Redemption) played Nixon. I haven’t seen it, but I kind of want to now that I know it exists. If the clips on YouTube are any indication, it seems like a kitschy good time. Above is a scene depicting Elvis and Nixon taking care of business in the Oval Office.