Elvis is in the building!
Austin Butler will play the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll in the upcoming biopic directed by Baz Luhrmann, EW has confirmed. The drama, which is yet to be titled, covers Elvis Presley’s rise to fame from broke, aspiring singer to worldwide superstar, framed by his complicated relationship with his manager for more than 20 years, Colonel Tom Parker — who will be played by Tom Hanks in the upcoming flick.
Luhrmann, the filmmaker behind Romeo + Juliet and Moulin Rouge!, also shared the casting news Monday via Twitter.
Ansel Elgort, Miles Teller, and Harry Styles all reportedly tested for Lurhmann, with Butler — who made his Broadway debut in the 2018 revival of Eugene O’Neill’s The Iceman Cometh — winning out. Next up, Butler will star opposite Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, and Margot Robbie in Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.
“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 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.”
Luhrmann, who wrote the screenplay with Craig Pearce, will direct the movie. Production begins early in 2020 in Queensland, Australia.