Elvis Presley is still the King of Rock and Roll. He holds that title over four decades after his passing in 1977. Most people know that making hit songs wasn’t his only talent, though. He was also an actor. The King had dozens of acting credits. By all accounts, he loved being in front of the camera.
However, there was one film that Elvis Presley wanted to do that he missed out on. That film was the 1976 remake of A Star is Born. The movie has been made four different times. The original came out in 1937. The first remake hit the silver screen in 1954. Most recently, it was remade by Bradley Cooper in 2018. Cooper starred in the film alongside Lady Gaga. However, the 1976 version was almost the most iconic version.
Barbara Streisand starred in and produced the film. She wanted Elvis Presley to play opposite her. Imagine how iconic that could have been. They were two of the biggest stars of the time. Their fanbases were very different. However, they both had, and still have huge followings. Streisand and Presley would have made an incredible on-screen duo. She pitched him the role and he wanted to do it, according to The Vintage News. But, it didn’t happen.
Why Wasn’t Elvis Presley in A Star is Born?
The truth is, Elvis Presley missed out on the role for the same reason he missed out on recording “I Will Always Love You.” Tom Parker got in the way. The King wanted to do the role. He could see how big the movie would be. In his mind, it was his path back to the big time. His acting and recording career were both in a bit of a slump. This movie would remind people of how great he truly was. On top of that, he and Streisand were friendly. He was looking forward to working with her.
However, Tom Parker was short-sighted. He only saw the bottom line. Because Elvis Presley was such a big draw, Parker thought he could come into any negotiation and throw his weight around and people would just bow down because he represented The King. It usually worked. However, A Star is Born was a different story.
Parker demanded a million dollars upfront and half of the movie’s profits. This was, to say the least, unrealistic. The film’s budget just didn’t have room for a deal like that. Streisand and her boyfriend and co-producer Jon Peters offered a percentage of the film’s profits. Which would have been a better deal in the long run. Parker was having none of that.
On top of that, Tom Parker demanded that Elvis Presley receive star billing. At the time, Elvis had been in a number of films but none of them had made a big splash. On the other hand, Streisand was an Oscar-winning actress. There was no way they were giving anyone else top billing, not even The King.
A Big Loss for the King
In the end, Barbara Streisand and her co-star Kris Kristofferson won Golden Globes for the film. The movie’s big song, “Evergreen,” won an Oscar. Furthermore, the movie brought in an impressive $37 million at the box office.
Elvis Presley would have gotten a huge boost from the movie. There’s a good chance he could have added a Golden Globe to his list of achievements. However, Colonel Tom Parker killed the opportunity the same way he killed several others.