Fans of music biopics have a lot to look forward to right now. Timothée Chalamet is playing Bob Dylan in “Going Electric,” from “Walk the Line” director James Mangold. Bradley Cooper is directing and starring in “Maestro,” his take on Leonard Bernstein. And “King Richard” director Reinaldo Marcus Green is set to helm a Bob Marley biopic starring Kingsley Ben-Adir. But one of the most anticipated music films is “Elvis,” Baz Luhrmann’s upcoming film about the legendary Elvis Presley.
The idea of the flashy Australian director with a penchant for films about music taking on the showmanship-loving singer seemed like a match made in heaven for many film fans when the project was first announced in 2014. The role of Elvis Presley — which has been played in other projects by everyone from Michael Shannon to Jonathan Rhys-Meyers — was extremely coveted, with the likes of Miles Teller, Ansel Elgort, and Harry Styles vying for the part. The job ultimately went to “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” star Austin Butler, and while the actor has previously teased his “Elvis” look on his Instagram, today’s trailer gives fans their best glimpse at Butler as the iconic pelvis-swiveling star.
“Elvis” also stars Tom Hanks as Colonel Tom Parker, Presley’s infamous manager. Olivia DeJonge stars as Elvis’ wife Priscilla, while Kodi Smit-McPhee plays country legend Jimmie Rodgers. Yola Quartey plays Sister Rosetta Tharpe and Kelvin Harrison Jr. plays B.B. King. Luhrmann directed the film from a script he co-wrote with Sam Bromell, Jeremy Doner, and Craig Pearce.
“Elvis” had a complicated road to the big screen, as the production had to shut down in March 2020 after Tom Hanks tested positive for COVID-19. The news about Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson’s infections was one of the first dominoes that led to the world shutting down over COVID in the spring of 2020. The film resumed production in Australia in September 2020, but the delay forced several cast members to exit the project, including Maggie Gyllenhaal, who was originally attached to play Elvis’ mother Gladys Presley. Gyllenhaal was replaced by Australian theatre actress Helen Thomson.
“Elvis” is set to be released in theaters on Friday, June 24. Watch the first trailer below: