The steady stream of revelatory biopics continues with Elvis Presley, and it appears that Baz Luhrmann has found the young doe-eyed star to join Tom Hanks. After numerous screen tests, The Dead Don’t Die and Once Upon A Time...In Hollywood’s Austin Butler will star as the hip-swiveling rock icon when the film reportedly goes into production early next year. Hanks will play Presley’s manager Colonel Tom Parker. Lurhmann is confident that Butler is the ideal choice for a film that will chronicle the complex professional relationship between Presley and Parker. He should be confident, as it sounds like Butler was put through the wringer before anything was official.
“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,” Luhrmann explained in a statement. “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.”
This will be Luhrmann’s first film adaptation since The Great Gatsby, and we can brace ourselves for the inevitable psychedelic trip set to “A Little Less Conversation.” Otherwise, what’s the point?