After news of Director Baz Luhrmann pooling young talent for his Elvis Presley biopic, the filmmaker has finally found his star. Austin Butler is set to play the King of Rock and Roll opposite Oscar-winner Tom Hanks as the singer’s manager, Colonel Tom Parker.
The untitled drama will chronicle the rise of young Elvis to fame from his dirt poor origins. It will revolve around his complicated relationship with his manager, Parker, who claimed around half of Presley’s earnings. Global distribution rights for the forthcoming biopic has fallen on Warner Bros. lap.
Production for the film will reportedly begin next year in Queensland, Australia. Entertainment news outlet Deadline describes the film’s storyline as “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.”
The Elvis Presley role has got to be the most in demand amongst young male talents this year. Luhrmann reportedly filmed test shoots with Ansel Elgort, Miles Teller and Harry Styles. After long and intensive decision making the director ultimately gave the role to Butler. Speaking to Deadline the director said of the casting:
“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.”
“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.”