After a slew of high-profile names were tossed about, including Harry Styles and Ansel Elgort, Baz Luhrmann has finally cast 27-year-old Austin Butler as Elvis Presley for his upcoming music biopic.
At this point the words "music biopic" make many of us in the music business slump further into our chair. Another one? Really? It is hard however, to deny the excitement surrounding an Elvis biopic. It's extraordinary there hasn't been one made already, considering Elvis Presley was as much a movie star as a musician in his lifetime. Polarising director Baz Luhrmann cast Austin Butler earlier today, writing a statement to Deadline:
"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 wrote.
“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.”
Butler is a relative unknown thus far, however he has scored roles in some of the biggest films of the year yet to have wide release, including Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and Jim Jarsmuch's The Dead Don't Die. He announced the news on Instagram, quoting Presley's Love Me Tender. Previously, Butler was known for his roles on Nickelodeon TV shows such as Zoey 101.
The film will frame Presley's life through the complicated relationship with his manager of 20 years Colonel Tom Parker, played by none other than Tom Hanks. Luhrmann wrote the screenplay with Craig Pearce and, as (almost) always, his partner Catherine Martin will serve as production and costume designer. To boot, production will start in Queensland early next year.
Stay tuned to Mixdown for updates about the as-yet-untitled Elvis biopic. In the meantime, why not indulge in one the King's most underrated moments: his '68 comeback special.