“Dude, what if Elvis Presley had, like, lived?”
That might strike most as question someone might ask late in the night after more than a few cocktails, but then, so might, “What if sharks were, like, in tornados and attacked people?” Both are questions Burbank, Calif.-based production company The Asylum has asked.
It’s done a fair job answering the latter question through its made-for-TV “Sharknado” film series (currently at three movies with a fourth to debut in July, which will star the late-of-“Baywatch”-and-“Knight Rider” David Hasselhoff, 2004 Worst Supporting Actress Golden Raspberry Award nominee Tara Reid and the inimitable Gary Busey, Variety reported).
The company will now focus on the former question in an upcoming small screen film appropriately titled “Elvis Lives!”
The movie is the first foray into the made-for-TV film landscape for the AXS TV network, which launched in July 2012, founded by Mark Cuban.
(Yes, that Mark Cuban, the owner of NBA’s Dallas Mavericks who portrayed the President of the United States in “Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!” and who told CNBC that he wasn’t running for the actual, real world presidency but speculated, “If I ran as a Dem, I know I could beat Hillary Clinton. And if it was me vs. Trump, I would crush him. No doubt about it.”)
“When the decision was made to develop AXS TV’s first original made-for-TV movie, I knew I had to get The Asylum team involved because it was a great experience working with them on ‘Sharknado 3,'” Cuban said in an AXS TV press release
(The Post’s TV critic Hank Stuever wrote of that same film, “Perhaps the real value in ‘Sharknado’ is to become an annual cleansing ritual of our tackiest impulses?”)
“Elvis Lives!,” which will be a conspiracy thriller, is currently in pre-production. It does not yet have a release date, but it’s the second upcoming film about the rock ‘n’ roller. On April 22, Elvis & Nixon, a film telling the story of the famous 1970 meeting between The King and The Commander-In-Chief, hits theaters nationwide.
The release also includes a short synopsis: “Plagued by a heavy drug addiction and his failing voice, The King is desperate to make things right with himself, his deceased brother, and God. His attempts to get back on track are thwarted, however, after he helps the cops bring down a powerful crime syndicate—putting his family in danger and sending him on a journey that will change his life forever.”
Conspiracy theories surrounding Elvis’ death do abound, going so far as to inspire books with titles such as “Is Elvis Alive?,” a 219-page deep dive into the secrecy surrounding The King’s death by author Gail Brewer-Giorgio.
Though some try to deny it, Elvis died on August 16, 1977, at 42 years old. He was found in the bathroom of his Graceland mansion in Memphis, Tenn., at 2:30 p.m. central time by his road manager Jerry Esposito. He was then pronounced dead at Baptist Memorial Hospital.
“Shelby County Medical Examiner Dr. Jerry Francisco said last night an autopsy indicated Presley died of ‘cardiac arrhythmia,’ which he described as a ‘severely irregular heartbeat’ and ‘just another name for a form of heart attack,'” The Post reported on August 17, 1977. “He said the three-hour autopsy uncovered no sign of any other diseases — though Presley had in recent years been treated at Baptist Memorial Hospital for hypertension, pneumonia and an enlarged colon — and there was no sign of any drug abuse.”
But conspiracy theorists often cling to the fact that Elvis’s father, Vernon Presley, sealed the autopsy report until 2027, according to Newsweek.
Dr. George “Nick” Nichopoulos, Elvis’s personal physician and close friend who would later write a book about their relationship titled “The King and Dr. Nick,” told FOX News that there might have been some obfuscation, though not purposefully, as to Elvis’s cause of death. He blamed constipation, though he was clear in stating that The King truly has left the building.
“We didn’t realize until the autopsy that his constipation was as bad – we knew it was bad because it was hard for us to treat, but we didn’t realize what it had done,” Dr. Nichopoulos said. “We just assumed that the constipation was secondary to the meds that he was taking for his arthritic pain and for his insomnia.”
“He would get embarrassed,” Dr. Nichopoulos added.
Said autopsy found Elvis’s colon to be nearly 5 to 6 inches in diameter instead of the normal 2 to 3 inches and 8 to 9 feet long, nearly double the normal 4 to 5 feet, according to Dr. Nichopoulos.
That hasn’t stopped organizations such as The Elvis Sighting Society from encouraging fans to share stories of their Elvis sightings.
Regardless, it’s not difficult to infer that neither Asylum nor AXS TV is particularly interested in a serious investigation into Elvis’ death with this film, enlarged colon or not.
“With ‘Elvis Lives!’ we intend to do for the life of Elvis Presley what ‘Sharknado’ did for flying sharks,” Asylum president David Rimawi said in the release.