If you’ve seen Walk Hard, you know what the beats of a musical biopic are. There’s the early success, the drug use and dissolved marriages, and the return to prominence after the musician has redeemed themselves in the eyes of the public. With Elvis just around the corner, many are wondering whether director Baz Luhrmann will fall prey to these same conventions or rise above them to create something that feels truly new.
Either way, Elvis will be far from the first movie to take on a famous musician as its central subject. These movies all laid the ground for what Elvis may ultimately be like, and each one of them succeeds because they are willing to play with the formula that is so familiar to most of us now.
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