Austin Butler to Play Elvis Presley in Baz Luhrmann's Biopic
Baz Luhrmann has found the right actor to fill Elvis Presley's blue suede shoes.
The director has cast Austin Butler ("Shannara Chronicles," "The Carrie Diaries") to play the king of rock and roll in his upcoming biopic.
The untitled drama will chronicle the legendary singer's growth from dirt poor singer to global icon, seen through the prism of his complex relationship over two decades with manager Colonel Tom Parker (to be played by Tom Hanks).
It will follow Presley's elevation to a level of stardom and celebrity matched only by The Beatles, set against an evolving cultural landscape and loss of innocence in America.
Butler's casting comes after a competitive process that had young male stars like Ansel Elgort, Miles Teller and Harry Styles in the mix.
“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.”
Butler can currently be seen in Jim Jarmusch's zombie movie "The Dead Don't Die" and next in Quentin Tarantino's "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood."
Filming will begin early next year in Luhrmann's native Australia.