With films about music’s biggest icons dominating the theatres, it was only a matter of time before Elvis Presley had his turn.
Baz Luhrmann (“The Great Gatsby”, “Romeo+Juliet”) is behind the Warner Bros. creation that has already locked in Tom Hanks as Col. Tom Parker, Presley’s manager.
But who will play the King?
Deadline reports that Luhrmann is putting Hollywood’s youngest and brightest through the wringer of acting and singing to see who will come out on top. Ansel Elgort (“Baby Driver”), Miles Teller (“Whiplash”), Austin Butler (“Once Upon A Time In Hollywood”) and former member of One Direction, Harry Styles, are in the final running for the honour.
The story will focus on Presley’s relationship with the veteran manager, Parker. Reportedly, Parker took half of all of Presley’s earnings for himself.
After days of speculation, Luhrmann has named Austin Butler as his Elvis.
“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 said in a statement. “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.”
While Butler has yet to comment on his new, star-making role, his longtime girlfriend Vanessa Hudgens shared the news via Instagram, writing, “I AM OVER THE F**KING MOON. I CAN’T WAIT! SO PROUD OF MY HONEY!”
Butler is currently starring in Jim Jarmusch’s “The Dead Don’t Die” next to Bill Murray and Adam Driver. Next, he will hit big screens in Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon A Time In Hollywood” with Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt and Margot Robbie on July 26.