Baz Luhrmann’s “Elvis” hits theaters June 24. Enthusiasm for the film continues to grow, especially after it received a 12-minute standing ovation after its premiere at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival.
Running at 2 hours and 39 minutes, the biopic has received mixed reviews ranging from “train wreck” to “sharp editing that strays from being a classic.” According to Stephanie Zacharek of Time magazine, “Luhrmann sees equal value in facts and myths.” Justin Chang of the Los Angeles Times wrote: “It’s all too much, which means it’s okay.”
The public will have a chance to find out for themselves later this month, but for now here’s everything we know about “elvis”.
this is luhrmann’s first feature film since 2013’s “the great gatsby”:
In addition to “The Great Gatsby”, Luhrmann has directed “Australia” (2008), “Moulin Rouge!” (2001), “romeo + juliet” (1996) and “strictly ballroom” (1992), as well as the netflix series “the get down”. He announced plans to work on the Elvis Presley biopic in 2014, so this one has been a long time coming.
the film will cover the cultural controversy of elvis stardom
elvis became an icon throughout the fifties, sixties and seventies, finding his roots in black gospel church music. while the film focuses on his life, it also acknowledges the cultural context of what was happening around elvis. When Elvis was a child, he was very inspired by the gospel music of the black church. A major controversy over the hip rocker is whether he amplified the blackness through his performance or appropriated it. the civil rights movement takes place in the background of the film.
luhrmann revealed that there is a 4 hour cut of the film:
In an interview with radiotimes.com, baz luhrmann talked about a four-hour version of “elvis” that’s out there. he also talked about the parts he had to cut to reduce the biopic to a more digestible two hours and 39 minutes.
Butler gave everything he had to the role
In a recent interview with GQ, Austin Butler detailed his immersive work on the icon that was Elvis. When filming wrapped in 2021, Butler realized how much the role had taken a toll on his body. He was rushed to the hospital early the next morning after waking up in pain, and was later diagnosed with a virus that mimics appendicitis, and he spent a week in bed.
yes, austin butler is really singing…in part of the movie
butler was committed to the musical aspect of “elvis” and said, “when I started the process of this, I wanted my voice to sound identical to his.” so for the first few elvis songs, you’ll hear the butler voice. But as Elvis grew older and began recording his most iconic songs, Luhrmann combined the Butler’s voice with the Presley voice, so it became a mix of the two.
harry styles really wanted the role of elvis
baz luhrmann told fitzy & wippa, the breakfast radio crew at sydney’s nova, why didn’t he see styles in the paper that the butler ended up catching? Luhrmann didn’t audition Styles or Butler, but he held workshops to get the actors into character.
“Harry is a really talented actor,” he said. “I would work on something with him…” but “the real problem with harry is that he is harry styles. he is already an icon.”
some other famous faces will appear alongside austin butler and tom hanks
The biopic will star Austin Butler as the King himself, and Tom Hanks will star alongside Butler as Colonel Tom Parker, Elvis’s manager. Both men really chased their roles, with Hanks looking very different in his prosthetic makeup.
“Stranger Things” star Dacre Montgomery will play Steve Binder. Kodi Smit-McPhee from “The Power of the Dog” will appear as Jimmi Rogers. Luke Bracey will play Jerry Schilling, and David Wenham will play Hank Snow. Olivia Dejonge will play Priscilla Presley.
black musicians like b.b. King (Kevin Harrison Jr.), Little Richard (Alton Mason), and sister Rosetta Tharpe (Yola), who all influenced Elvis in one way or another, will appear in the story.
the soundtrack could be even more star-studded than the cast
The original songs and recordings that will appear in the film will not only come from elvis aaron presley himself, but also, obviously, from austin butler, who performs him. other artists who collaborated on the soundtrack include ann nesby, alton mason, chris isaak, denzel curry, doja cat, eminem & ceelo green, gary clark jr., jack white, lenesha randolph, jazmine sullivan, kacey musgraves, kodi-smit-mcphee, les greene, måneskin, nardo wick, paravi, pnau, rufus thomas, shonka dukureh, stevie nicks, swae lee & ; diplo, tame impala and yola.
doja cat’s song “vegas” now has a music video attached, which you can watch here.
lisa marie presley and priscilla presley approve of the movie
after watching the movie, priscilla posted her review on instagram:
“I saw the elvis movie, I saw the trailer over a dozen times. but the words i heard from my daughter about how much she loved the movie and that riley will love it too when she sees it, brought tears to my eyes. I relived every moment in this movie. it took me a few days to get over the emotions like she did with lisa. very well done baz, tom, austin and olivia.”
lisa marie presley tweeted her praise of her father’s performance:
“baz, your absolute awesomeness combined with your love and respect for my father and this project is so beautiful and inspiring. I know I’m being repetitive, but I don’t care, thanks for making things clear in such a profound and artistic way.
I love you” ~lmp