New documentary tells riveting story of Elvis Presley, legendary director Steve Binder & creation of 1968 comeback special
Paramount+ recently announced the new feature-length documentary “Reinventing Elvis: The ’68 Comeback” will premiere exclusively on the service Tuesday, Aug. 15, in the U.S. and Canada, and internationally on Wednesday, Aug. 16, in the U.K., Latin America, Brazil, France, Germany, Switzerland, Austria and Italy.
Premiering days before the anniversary of Presley’s death, “Reinventing Elvis: The ’68 Comeback” reveals what really happened behind the scenes of this mesmerizing hour of television. When it aired on the night of Dec. 3, 1968, the special became the most-watched television event of the year, and nearly half of the entire TV-watching audience tuned in to see Elvis Presley, clad in an iconic black leather suit, deliver some of the greatest performances of his life, reinvigorating his career and changing the pop-culture landscape forever.
Told from the unique perspective of Emmy Award-winning television director Steve Binder, “Reinventing Elvis: The ’68 Comeback” features interviews with Elvis experts and recollections from those who attended the special in-person, as well as all-new versions of iconic Elvis hits interpreted by contemporary musicians, including superstar Darius Rucker, Latin Grammy winner Maffio and “America’s Got Talent” finalist Drake Milligan, who previously starred in CMT’s hit series “Sun Records,” also streaming on Paramount+.
Prior to its streaming debut, “Reinventing Elvis: The ’68 Comeback” will also screen for a limited time in hundreds of movie theaters worldwide (more details to be announced soon).
“The world is filled with stories about Elvis and his historic ‘1968 Comeback Special,’ but no one has ever told this story the way only I can tell it – because I was there for every moment of it,” Binder said. “I’m so proud of this film, because it presents Elvis as he really was, and looks at a specific moment in time – when Elvis took control of his life, his career and his legacy. There’s never been a television moment quite like this one.”
“The 1960s was a decade marked by profound change,” said documentary director John Scheinfeld (“The U.S. vs. John Lennon,” “Who is Harry Nilsson …?,” “What the Hell Happened to Blood, Sweat and Tears”). “No one was immune, including the ‘King of Rock ‘n’ Roll,’ who had been driven from his throne by the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and a host of younger, more vital artists. Against this provocative backdrop, Elvis and Steve Binder came together to create something extraordinary. It’s an amazing story, one that I’m honored to have been chosen to tell.”
“Steve Binder is one of the most innovative creators in entertainment,” said film producer Spencer Proffer. “To make electrifying paradigm shifts in television, Steve broke molds with his incredible vision. I'm proud to continue my decades-long association with Steve by creating this cinematic documentary, which does more than illuminate an hour of television – it also reveals an incredible buddy story between a pop-culture icon at a pivotal moment and a director who took risks and made history in the process."