Just weeks after reports indicated that multiple A-list actors were being considered for the role of Elvis Presley in Baz Luhrmann’s upcoming biopic, Deadline has revealed that Austin Butler (The Dead Don’t Die) has been cast in the coveted role.
In addition to Butler, far more recognizable names such as Harry Styles (Dunkirk), Ansel Elgort (Baby Driver), Miles Teller (War Dogs), and Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Avengers: Age of Ultron) were considered for the role.
Butler, 27, is best known for his starring role in the short-lived MTV series The Shannara Chronicles and for his appearances in The Dead Don’t Die and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.
“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 about his young star.
“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.”
Now, while having an A-lister isn’t always necessarily a prerequisite for a convincing performance, Baz Luhrmann is also the guy who decided to cast Leonardo DiCaprio — arguably the most popular actor on earth — as Jay Gatsby in The Great Gatsby.
That said, it’s not as though the Elvis flick is without its star power, though, as the Tom Hanks has been cast as legendary manager Colonel Tom Parker, who will feature heavily in the film as he “controlled every aspect of Elvis’ life”, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The still-untitled film — which will be distributed by Warner Bros. — will begin filming in Australia at the start of 2020, putting it on track for a Spring/Summer 2021 release.