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Baz Luhrmann explains why Harry Styles was snubbed for Elvis role


With the release of Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis biopic imminently set for release, the director has explained why he rejected Harry Styles for the lead role as the hip-snaking singer. 

Styles auditioned for the role, but Luhrmann preferred Austin Butler as ‘The King’ of rock ‘n’ roll and while Styles may well have been a commercial draw, the Romeo + Juliet director had very good reason for his decision. 

“Harry is a really talented actor, I would work on something with him,” Luhrmann told Sydney’s Nova FM. “The real issue with Harry is, he’s Harry Styles—he’s already an icon.”

Luhrmann continued: “Harry and I came to a place, genuinely I mean, he was just desperate to put the suit on and explore. He’s such a great spirit and I have nothing but great things to say about Harry Styles.”

Luhrmann then explained that he didn’t audition people per se, he simply met up with those interested in the role to see if he felt they were applicable, and Butler simply seemed “born to play” Elvis. 

“The thing about [Austin] was that he will tell you himself, I didn’t pick him, it’s as if he was drawn like the role drew them in because he was almost born to play it,” Luhrmann said.

This seems to have been ratified by the late rock legend’s daughter, Lisa Marie Presley, who commented: “Let me tell you that it is nothing short of spectacular. Absolutely exquisite. Austin Butler channelled and embodied my father’s heart & soul beautifully.”

She then concluded her glowing assessment by stating: “In my humble opinion, his performance is unprecedented and FINALLY done accurately and respectfully. (If he doesn’t get an Oscar for this, I will eat my own foot, haha.)”

Also starring Tom Hanks, Elvis comes with the following official synopsis: “The story delves into the complex dynamic between Presley and Parker spanning 20 years, from Presley’s rise to fame to his unprecedented stardom, against the backdrop of the evolving cultural landscape and loss of innocence in America.

The film is due for release on June 24th in the UK. You can check out the glossy trailer below. 

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