Baz Luhrmann finds his Elvis in Austin Butler
Austin Butler (R) will play Elvis Presley.
Austin Butler is set to play Elvis Presley in director Baz Luhrmann’s currently untitled biopic about the music icon, due to shoot in Queensland early next year.
The film will chart Presley’s rise to fame and his impact on the world while also delving into his complicated relationship with his manager, Colonel Tom Parker, to be played by Tom Hanks.
Butler is among the stars of Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Jim Jarmusch’s zombie comedy The Dead Don’t Die, and has had roles in series like The Shannara Chronicles, The Carrie Diaries and Switched at Birth. He snagged the lead role in the production after a competitive casting process.
Luhrmann said: “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 honour 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.”
The screenplay has been written by Luhrmann and long-time collaborator Craig Pearce. Luhrmann will also produce, alongside wife Catherine Martin, who will once again serve as production designer and costume designer on the film. Other producers include Gail Berman, Patrick McCormick and Schuyler Weiss, while Andrew Mittman will executive produce.
The film will be distributed by Warner Bros worldwide and Roadshow Films in Australia and New Zealand.