Austin Butler Cast as Elvis Presley in Baz Luhrmann Biopic
Austin Butler has beat out Miles Teller, Ansel Elgort, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, and One Direction frontman Harry Styles for the lead role in director Baz Luhrmann‘s Elvis Presley biopic.
Someone just got upped to the A-list in Hollywood!
The film is set up at Warner Bros. and will chart Presley’s rise and zenith, putting a particular focus on his relationship with his manager Col. Tom Parker, to be played by Tom Hanks.
The drama “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.”
Butler, well known for his television work on series like Switched at Birth and The Carrie Diaries, recently made his Broadway debut in 2018 opposite Denzel Washington in Eugene O’Neill’s The Iceman Cometh, directed by George C. Wolfe.
It was Butler’s performance on stage in The Iceman Cometh that sealed the deal for Luhrmann:
“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 is also recognizable as Vanessa Hudgens’ long-term partner.
The duo has been together for a long time now: they were first linked to each other back in 2011, the year after she split from High School Musical squeeze Zac Efron.
The unnamed biopic starts shooting in Australia next year.