Meet Baz Luhrmann's Elvis Presley! Actor Austin Butler Cast as Legendary Singer in Biopic
Austin Butler is Baz Luhrmann’s man.
The famed Moulin Rouge! director has cast the 27-year-old actor to play Elvis Presley in his upcoming movie, which will follow the late icon’s rise to stardom and his close relationship with his manager. Tom Hanks will play the manager, Col. Tom Parker, who had control over all aspects of Presley’s life.
Butler is an actor on the rise who will soon be seen opposite Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. He’s currently starring in The Dead Don’t Die, opposite Bill Murray and Selena Gomez, which is now in theaters.
According to Warner Bros., the studio behind the film, the movie will “delve into their complex dynamic spanning over 20 years, from Presley’s rise to fame to his unprecedented stardom, against the backdrop of the evolving cultural landscape and the loss of innocence in America.”
Luhrmann cast Butler after narrowing down his list to include him, Harry Styles, Ansel Elgort, Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Miles Teller, per reports. All five of them screen are said to have tested in late June 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,” Luhrmann said in a statement provided to The Hollywood Reporter.
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“Throughout the casting process, it was an honor for me to encounter such a vast array of talent,” he continued. “I had heard about Austin Butler from his standout 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.”
Prior to reportedly testing the actors, Luhrmann sent out a public casting notice for the part, asking anyone interested in the role to send photos to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The movie begins shooting next year in Australia.