Oscar-nominated filmmaker Baz Luhrmann on why he chose Austin Butler for his upcoming film, Elvis
The film — which explores Elvis’ life and rise to fame with his unprecedented, epic music — portrays the complicated relationship that the singer shared with his enigmatic manager, Colonel Tom Parker
Oscar-nominated filmmaker Baz Luhrmann, whose upcoming projects include Elvis by Warner Bros. Pictures, opened up recently about why he chose actor Austin Butler to play the role of American singer Elvis Presley, who is popularly known as the ‘King of Rock and Roll’.
The film — which explores Elvis’ life and rise to fame with his unprecedented, epic music — portrays the complicated relationship that the singer shared with his enigmatic manager, Colonel Tom Parker (played by Oscar-award winner Tom Hanks).
The filmmakers reportedly conducted an extensive search for the right person to play the character of Elvis, before coming across Austin Butler.
Talking about the casting process for Elvis, Baz Luhrmann says, “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. I had heard about Austin Butler from his stand-out role opposite Denzel Washington in The Iceman Cometh on Broadway, and then I got a call from Denzel, whom I do not know, going out of his way to state that this young actor had a work ethic like no one else he had seen before. 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 (sic).”
Starring alongside Butler and Hanks is award-winning theater actress Helen Thomson (who plays Elvis’ mother, Gladys), Richard Roxburgh (who portrays Elvis’s father, Vernon), and Olivia DeJonge (who plays the role of Priscilla Presley, Elvis’ ex-wife and one of the most influential women in his life), among others.
Elvis is set to release in theatres across India on June 24, 2022.