Tom Hanks Took A Part Because Fans Didn’t Want Him To

Tom Hanks took his role in Elvis because he wanted to play someone repugnant.

By Nathan Kamal | Published

Tom Hanks is unquestionably one of the most beloved actors in the world, having entertained generations of viewers with warm, heartfelt movies like Toy Story, Forrest Gump, and Big. It seems that Tom Hanks is eager to stretch and try some more roles that make him seem like a big jerk, which has to be fun to do sometimes. According to Deadline, Tom Hanks specifically wanted to play notorious music industry impresario Colonel Tom Parker in Elvis because “his fanbase wouldn’t want him to.”

Specifically, Elvis director Baz Luhrmann says that Tom Hanks was ridiculously easy to convince to play the role of the exploitative manager who is alleged to have controlled both Elvis Presley’s business career and personal life in an unethical manner. While the director thought that Tom Hanks would be difficult to convince to play Colonel Tom Parker, he “jumped at the chance to play a repugnant character” and was signed on to the film within about fifteen minutes. Elvis is now Baz Luhrmann’s highest-grossing movie ever, easily outperforming popular movies like the Ewan McGregor-Nicole Kidman musical Moulin Rouge! and Leonardo DiCaprio’s The Great Gatsby

tom hanks
Tom Hanks in Elvis

In addition to Tom Hanks as Colonel Tom Parker (assisted by facial prosthetics and a very, very heavy Dutch accent), Elvis starred Austin Butler as the title character. Austin Butler will soon star in the highly anticipated Dune 2 as Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen, essentially the dark mirror to Timothee Chalamet’s Paul Atreides. Dune 2 will also bring in new stars Christopher Walken as the emperor of the known universe, Florence Pugh as his daughter/amateur historian, and Léa Seydoux as a Bene Gesserit, as well as feature returning stars Zendaya, Javier Bardem, and Stellan Skarsgard. The film is expected to be released in November of 2023.

For his part, Tom Hanks recently appeared in Robert Zemeckis’ theoretically live-action remake of Pinocchio for Disney, starring as Geppetto, the kindly woodworker who creates the living puppet. Tom Hanks and Robert Zemeckis are longtime collaborators, having worked together on the Academy Award-winning films Forrest Gump and Cast Away, plus the motion-capture nightmare, The Polar Express.

Tom Hanks will soon be starring in A Man Called Otto, an adaptation of the Swedish novel A Man Called Ove. In the film (which is the second adaptation of the 2012 novel so far), Tom Hanks will play a misanthropic, suicidal man who is only prevented from taking his own life by his annoying neighbors. Clearly, hrs is still in the mood to play someone unlikeable. However, we are pretty sure the two-time Academy Award-winner will still find a way to make him sympathetic.

Tom Hanks will also be starring in Asteroid City, a science fiction film by acclaimed filmmaker Wes Anderson. This will be the first collaboration between the actor and Anderson, who is known for working with a consistent ensemble of actors. The movie will also feature Margot Robbie, Tilda Swinton, Scarlett Johansson, Bryan Cranston, Adrien Brody, Jeffrey Wright, Matt Dillon, and essentially most working actors in Hollywood right now.