It’s been a long time since celebrated director Baz Luhrmann has lit up the silver screen, and now this visual genius of filmmaking is returning to cinemas with a massive picture concerning the life and times of the great Elvis Presley and he’s now found the actor who’ll be The King.
Rising star Austin Butler has been personally chosen by Luhrmann to take on the role of Presley, and he’ll be in for the role of a life time as he brings to the life the godfather of rock n’roll.
Luhrmann (The Great Gatsby, Moulin Rouge!) will explore the life and music of Presley, through the prism of his complicated relationship with his enigmatic manager, Colonel Tom Parker, played in the film by two-time Oscar winner Tom Hanks (Forrest Gump, Philadelphia). The story will delve into their complex dynamic spanning over 20 years, from Presley’s rise to fame to his unprecedented stardom, against the backdrop of the evolving cultural landscape and loss of innocence in America.
Luhrmann stated, “I knew I couldn’t make this film if the casting wasn’t absolutely right, and we searched thoroughly for an actor with the ability to evoke the singular natural movement and vocal qualities of this peerless star, but also the inner vulnerability of the artist. Throughout the casting process, it was an honor for me to encounter such a vast array of talent. I had heard about Austin Butler from his stand-out role opposite Denzel Washington in The Iceman Cometh on Broadway, and through a journey of extensive screen testing and music and performance workshops, I knew unequivocally that I had found someone who could embody the spirit of one of the world’s most iconic musical figures.”
2019 is shaping up to be a big year for Butler, not only has he come off some brilliant work in The Iceman Cometh, but he’ll also be seen in Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood as Manson acolyte Charles ‘Tex’ Watson, before he moves into production with Luhrmann on this yet untitled Elvis biopic.
Principal photography will begin early next year, with filming taking place in Queensland, Australia, with an official title and release date to follow on from that.