After months of casting rumors, Baz Luhrmann and Warner Bros Pictures have settled on The Shannara Chronicles star Austin Butler to play Elvis. Butler will star opposite Tom Hanks in the untitled Elvis Presley project expected to begin shooting early next year.
Butler will play Elvis Aaron Presley and Tom Hanks is on board to play Colonel Tom Parker, Elvis’ manager.
Ansel Elgort, Miles Teller, and Harry Styles were among those who were reportedly seriously in the running to step into Elvis’ blue suede shoes.
“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,” explained Luhrmann. “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.”
Director Baz Luhrmann and Craig Pearce wrote the screenplay, with Luhrmann and Oscar winner Catherine Martin (The Great Gatsby, Moulin Rouge!) producing. Martin will also serve as costume designer and production designer on the project.
Luhrmann’s untitled Elvis film will shoot in Queensland, Australia.
Austin Butler’s additional credits include The Dead Don’t Die, The Carrie Diaries, and Switched at Birth. He recently finished working on Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, opening in theaters on July 26, 2019.
“In the movie, Oscar-nominated filmmaker 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.”