After a competitive casting, Baz Luhrmann has cast the lead for his forthcoming Elvis Presley biopic. Austin Butler has been tapped to play the King of Rock, alongside Tom Hanks, who was previously cast as Elvis’ legendary manager, Col. Tom Parker.
Ansel Elgort, Harry Styles and Miles Teller all reportedly auditioned for the role ultimately won by Butler, a Nickelodeon and Disney Channel alumni who last year made his Broadway debut in the revival of The Iceman Cometh starring Denzel Washington.
Baz Luhrmann has cast Austin Butler to play the King of Rock in his forthcoming Elvis Presley biopic, alongside Tom Hanks as Elvis’ manager, Col. Tom Parker.
Luhrmann’s new film will follow Presley’s rise to fame, with a particular focus on his relationship with his controlling manager. The twenty-year journey to stardom will be set “against the backdrop of the evolving cultural landscape and the loss of innocence in America,” according to Warner Bros.
“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,” said Luhrmann 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.”
The yet to be titled film is being co-written by Luhrmann alongside Craig Pearce. He will also be co-producing the feature with his wife Catherine Martin, as well as Gail Berman.
Most recently, Butler appeared in Jim Jarmusch’s zombie film Dead Don’t Die, and will also be seen in Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. He posted the news to Instagram, quoting from Presley’s hit Love Me Tender: “You have made my life complete, and I love you so.”
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