Spencer Proffer, Steve Binder, Joe Berlinger join forces for 2018 production start on ‘The Colonel’.

Colonel Tom Parker

Music and media producer Spencer Proffer, producer-director Steve Binder and filmmaker Joe Berlinger have teamed up to bring the profile of long-time music manager Colonel Tom Parker to the big screen.    

Parker, who died in 1997 aged 87, was a music business entrepreneur who lived an intriguing personal life. He arrived in America as a 20-year old undocumented Dutch immigrant, and took great pains to hide his past. According to biographer Alanna Nash, he may have been involved in a murder in his native Holland.

Berlinger will direct from a screenplay based on Nash’s 2003 book The Colonel: The Extraordinary Story Of Colonel Tom Parker And Elvis Presley, published by Simon & Schuster. It was one of four books Nash authored on Presley.

The team will work from an outline developed by Nash and Berlinger, and Nash will co-write the screenplay.

Berlinger is producing through his Third Eye Motion Picture Company and Proffer via his Meteor 17 alongside Binder.

Berlinger’s credits include Brother’s Keeper, the Paradise Lost trilogy, Metallica: Some Kind Of Monster, Crude, and Under African Skies, and his most recent film Intent To Destroy.

Berlinger is currently in pre-production for the feature Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile starring Zac Efron.

“I have wanted to work with Joe for years, given his unique filmmaker’s eye toward marrying music-anchored stories with dramatic storytelling,” Proffer said. “Given that I am a big fan of his Metallica and Paul Simon films, plus Joe’s award-winning crime documentaries, he became my first choice to direct this evergreen and important film. Parker’s story has such a dark edge, and this is precisely why Berlinger’s combo of crime and music documentaries lends the perfect tone for the film.”

Berlinger added: “Throughout my career I have tackled unexpected and surprising stories, going beyond the easy headline to get to the truth of the real story.  And in The Colonel, I see the same exciting opportunity. I am thrilled to go beneath the surface and tell this story with partners like Spencer, Alanna, and Steve.

“Not only are they incredibly talented, but they are also the people who know the music world and have a deep and personal knowledge of the Colonel, and the impact that he had on America’s most revered cultural icon.”

Binder said: “After producing and directing the ’68 NBC Elvis Special, I look forward to working with Spencer, Joe, and Alanna on the making of this film. The Colonel’s ‘real’ story has never been told, and I promise it will have you on the edge of your seat. I was there and I knew the Colonel. Move over P.T. Barnum, the ride is about to begin!”

Nash said: “Many teams have come to me through the years, wanting to dramatise the book. But never has anyone understood it, or Parker, as well as Proffer, Berlinger, and especially Binder, the only man who stood up to the Colonel and won.”