Strictly Ballroom and Moulin Rouge shows that Baz Lurhmann knows how to direct musical cinema, but Elvis is his first bonafide rock biography. Now, the Australian director has taken to social media to issue a teaser trailer of the upcoming film.
Plot details are sketchy at this time, but the film will follow the original rock star on his journey to stardom. Austin Butler plays ‘The King’ on his quest to fulfilment in a strangely new form of entertainment. Leading the charge is Colonel Tom Parker, who managed the artist through good times and bad. He’s portrayed by two-time Academy Award winner Tom Hanks.
Lurhmann acted as co-writer on Elvis. He first revealed his intentions to complete the project in 2014, as The Great Gatsby was released to the general public. Lurhmann cast Hanks in 2019, but finding a Presley proved trickier and former One Direction star Harry Styles was considered for the role, as was Ansel Elgort, but ultimately felt Butler represented his vision best.
Elvis is the director’s sixth feature. Through the course of his career, Lurhmann has worked with established artists Leonardo DiCaprio, Nicole Kidman, Ewan McGregor, Jim Broadbent, Hugh Jackman, Carey Mulligan and Tara Morice.
Lurhmann made his directorial debut with Strictly Ballroom, a jaunty ballroom drama that proved the first chapter in his ‘Red Curtain Trilogy’. Famously, William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and Moulin Rouge! completed the triumvirate of early work.
Lurhmann’s next feature Australia sidestepped into adventure territory by setting his story against the backdrop of the Second World War. The Australian born director helped to create The Get Down, a seminal television that provided an overview on hip-hop. The series featured Black Mirror mainstay Yahya Abdul-Mateen II among its cast-listing.
He recognises that his work isn’t to everyone’s tastes, but claims he shoots for audiences in the future. “My films are usually like baby seals,” Lurhmann told The Guardian,” and everyone is trying to club them to death. But I was always making things for the future. I didn’t want to be hip and groovy for a brief moment. I was hoping it would move through time and geography.”
See the clip, below.