BiteSize Entertainment announced today that it has optioned the rights to bestselling author David E. Stanley and Dr. David Gruder’s book about Elvis Presley, “Conversations with the King: Journals of a Young Apprentice.” The book will be adapted into a family friendly movie titled “Growing Up Graceland” focusing on the sparsely documented faith and spirit of Presley.
The film will be produced through BiteSize’s feature film production arm, led by Academy Award® winning producer Gene Kirkwood (“Rocky,” “New York, New York,” “The Pope of Greenwich Village,” “Gorky Park”) and Ross Elliot.
“Growing Up Graceland” will be based on David Stanley’s seventeen-year spiritual journey with his stepbrother and mentor Elvis Presley. Stanley moved into Graceland when he was four-years old and Presley quickly became his father figure and mentor. Growing up to become one of Presley’s most trusted aides, Stanley witnessed Presley’s extraordinary behind-the-scenes gifts that few ever talked about. He was also one of the only people Elvis confided in about his spiritual search for meaning during the final years of his life.
According to Kirkwood, “Our goal remains to have a diversified film slate that crosses several genres. ‘Growing Up Graceland’ will be a positive, uplifting account of Elvis Presley’s life outside the public glare and a film that will really appeal to a faith and family audience. After meeting David Stanley, reading his book and listening to his stories, I was immediately convinced this story could live on the big screen.”
“The new archetype of spiritual development that emerged in the 20th century may be Elvis’ biggest legacy of all; arguably greater than his enduring popularity as an entertainer,” said Stanley.
Kirkwood is also executive producing the upcoming Nina Simone biopic, directed by Cynthia Mort and starring Zoe Saldana.
Elvis Presley was born January 8, 1935 and he died August 16, 1977.
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