The search for the perfect actor to play Elvis has been one filled with tons of big stars, but it seems director Baz Luhrmann has found his Elvis in Once Upon A Time In Hollywood star Austin Butler, per Deadline.
Butler will portray the “Jailhouse Rock” singer in Luhrmann’s forthcoming biopic that tells the story of Presley’s growth from a nobody musician to a global icon. The film will be told through the lens of Presley’s relationship with his manager, Colonel Tom Parker.
The central role of Presley was highly contested between the likes of Butler, Harry Styles, Miles Teller, Ansel Elgort and Aaron Taylor-Johnson, but it seems Butler has come out on top. Tom Hanks is currently set to portray Presley’s manager.
“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 told Deadline.
Luhrmann is directing the film, and he will produce it along with Catherine Martin. The two worked together on Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge and The Great Gatsby, too. Gail Berman, Patrick McCormick and Schulyer Weiss will also produce, with Andrew Mittman in the executive producing chair. The film is based on Luhrmann’s script with Craig Pearce.
Butler recently starred in Jim Jarmusch’s The Dead Don’t Die with Bill Murray and Adam Driver. The actor is also in Quentin Tarantino’s forthcoming Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, which is in theaters July 26. Butler made his Broadway debut in 2018 opposite of Denzel Washington in The Iceman Cometh, which was the role that made Luhrmann hear about the actor.
Helmed by Warner Bros. Pictures, the currently untitled film is set to begin shooting early next year in Australia.