Into the barren wasteland of late August and early September comes this week’s sole new wide movie release, and you’re forgiven for knowing nothing about it. It’s called The Identical, and it is kinda sorta weirdly about Elvis, except not! There’s a long tradition of this sort of thing — few pop culture figures have inspired more cinematic hypotheticals, dramatizations, and all-out fictions. Here are a few of the weirder ones.
This week’s entry into the bizarre Elvis-ish movie sweepstakes focuses (as several earlier works of Presley-esque fiction have) on his stillborn identical twin brother. First-time director Dustin Marcellino’s film isn’t technically about Elvis: it concerns Drexel “The Dream” Hemsley and his separated-at-birth twin Ryan Wade. But both are played by Blake Rayne, an Elvis impersonator and spitting image of the King, and the character of Wade is, coincidentally enough, a professional Hemsley impersonator. In other words, what if Elvis’ twin brother had lived, and then became an Elvis impersonator, and no one put two and two together? Based on The Identical’s reviews thus far, it’d result in a “syrupy Christian-themed melodrama” that’s “a folly largely unworthy of its hidden idol.”