Lead Actor Named for Elvis Presley Biopic
Austin Butler, who’s seen in the 2019 movies The Dead Don’t Die and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, was named as the actor who’ll play Elvis Presley in an upcoming biopic.
Director Baz Luhrmann named Butler, 27, as the actor who’ll appear alongside Tom Hanks, who was previously announced as playing Presley’s manager, Col. Tom Parker.
“I knew I couldn’t make this film if the casting wasn’t absolutely right,” Luhrmann said in a statement. “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.”
He reported that he'd first heard of Butler through his role opposite Denzel Washington in The Iceman Cometh on Broadway. “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," he said.
Luhrmann addressed the fact that a number of actors had been considered for the role of Presley. "Throughout the casting process, it was an honor for me to encounter such a vast array of talent," he noted. It had been previously thought that he preferred a relative newcomer for the part.
Warner Bros. said that the story in the as-yet untitled movie would be set “against the backdrop of the evolving cultural landscape and the loss of innocence in America.”