Director Baz Luhrmann’s upcoming film Elvis looks like an incredible movie! I recently got to see about 10 minutes of the film at CinemaCon and was completely blown away by Austin Butler’s performance as Elvis. He is absolutely perfect for the role and it wasn’t until he came along that Luhrman finally decided to pull the trigger on making this movie that he had been developing for years. The director was waiting for the right actor to come along to play The King, and Butler is it.
As I was watching the footage from the film, I wondered what those who knew Elvis best thought of it. I wondered if they actually saw Elvis in Butler, and now we know. Elvis’ ex-wife Priscilla Presley recently watched the movie and she had nothing but praise for Butler. She shared on Facebook:
“For those curious about the new film ELVIS, Baz Luhrmann, the director, provided a private screening for me and Jerry Schilling at Warner studios recently. This story is about Elvis and Colonel Parker’s relationship. It is a true story told brilliantly and creatively that only Baz, in his unique artistic way, could have delivered. Austin Butler, who played Elvis is outstanding. Halfway through the film Jerry and I looked at each other and said WOW!!! Bravo to him…he knew he had big shoes to fill. He was extremely nervous playing this part. I can only imagine. Tom Hanks was Col Parker in this film. What a character he was. There was two sides to Colonel, Jerry and I witnessed both. The story, as we all know, does not have a happy ending. But I think you will understand a little bit more of Elvis’ journey, penned by a directer who put his heart and soul and many hours into this film.”
The film explores “the life and music of Elvis Presley (Butler), seen through the prism of his complicated relationship with his enigmatic manager, Colonel Tom Parker (Hanks). The story delves into the complex dynamic between Presley and Parker spanning over 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. Central to that journey is one of the most significant and influential people in Elvis’s life, Priscilla Presley (Olivia DeJonge).”
Starring alongside Austin Butler and Tom Hanks, we have Helen Thomson (Top of the Lake: China Girl) as Elvis’s mother, Gladys; Richard Roxburgh (Hacksaw Ridge) as Elvis’s father, Vernon; and DeJonge (The Visit) plays Priscilla. Luke Bracey (Hacksaw Ridge) plays Jerry Schilling; Natasha Bassett (Hail, Caesar!) plays Dixie Locke; David Wenham (The Lord of the Rings) plays Hank Snow; Kelvin Harrison Jr. (The Trial of the Chicago 7) plays B.B. King; Xavier Samuel (The Twilight Saga: Eclipse) plays Scotty Moore; and Kodi Smit-McPhee (The Power of the Dog) plays Jimmie Rodgers Snow.