Michael Shannon and Kevin Spacey to play Elvis and Nixon

Michael Shannon and Kevin Spacey will play Elvis Presley and Richard Nixon in the period drama Elvis & Nixon, the story of a bizarre real-life meeting between the 20th-century historical figures in 1970, reports Deadline.The film, written by actor Cary Elwes, is being touted to investors at the current American Film Market in Santa Monica, California.

A previous iteration with Eric Bana and Danny Huston as the king of rock and roll and disgraced president never made it to the production stage, but the introduction of Shannon and Spacey appears certain to pique industry interest.Shannon starred as General Zod in Superman reboot Man of Steel and is coming off the back of an acclaimed small screen turn in HBO’s recently wrapped Boardwalk Empire, as well as starring in Toronto hit 99 Homes. Spacey, a two-time Oscar winner, has received excellent critical notices for his turn as a corrupt and conniving politician in the US remake of House of Cards.

Elwes, star of enduring fantasy favourite The Princess Bride and horror series debut Saw, was originally set to make his directing debut on Elvis & Nixon, but Hateship Loveship’s Liza Johnson will now take the reins. The screenplay riffs of a real-life meeting between the singer and then-president in December 1970 which took place after the latter received a six-page letter from Elvis asking for an audience.

He also asked to be made a “Federal Agent-at-Large” in the bureau of narcotics and dangerous drugs. At the subsequent meeting in Washington DC, Elvis brought along family photos and a Colt 45 pistol as a personal gift to Nixon.

The disgraced president has previously been portrayed by Frank Langella in Ron Howard’s Frost/Nixon and Anthony Hopkins in Oliver Stone’s Nixon. Kurt Russell, Don Johnson and Jonathan Rhys Meyers have played Elvis in TV movies.

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Ben Child, for theguardian.com on Friday 7th November 2014 09.58 Europe/London

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