It seems that Director Baz Luhrmann has finally satisfied his search for the perfect Elvis Presley. It was recently announced that he had chosen Austin Butler to fill in the (rather large) shoes in the upcoming drama which revolves around the King of Rock and Roll’s life. This decision comes on the heels of a series of auditions, workshops, and screen tests.
According to Deadline, the film “covers the seminal legend’s growth from dirt poor singer to global icon, seen through the prism of his complex relationship over two decades with manager Colonel Tom Parker […] It will trace Presley’s elevation to a level of stardom and celebrity matched only by The Beatles, set against an evolving cultural landscape and loss of innocence in America.”
Butler will be starring opposite Tom Hanks in the role of Parker. He impressively won the role over other promising performers such as Harry Styles, Miles Teller, and Ansel Elgort who had all filmed screen tests for the role. Luhrmann explains that Butler was ultimately the best choice for the role:
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 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 wsscould embody the spirit of one of the world’s most iconic musical figures.
Luhrmann will be helming the project as both director, screenwriter, and producer. Craig Pearce has co-written the screenplay, while Catherine Martin, Gail Berman, Patrick McCormick and Schuyler Weiss will co-produce. Andrew Mittman will executive produce.