For the past three years, Baz Lurhmann has been camped out in the Gold Coast. Enlisting the talents of Austin Butler and Tom Hanks – the latter of whom actually contracted the spicy cough while he was here for this – the man behind Moulin Rouge and The Great Gatsby was dedicated to adapting the King of Rock’s life story for the big screen. And by the looks of the first official Elvis trailer, it appears the Aussie director has succeeded in spectacular fashion.
Elvis explores the life and music of the man himself (Austin Butler) through the prism of his complicated relationship with enigmatic manager Colonel Tom Parker (Tom Hanks). The story delves into the complex dynamic between Presley and Parker spanning over 20 years, from the former’s rise to fame to his unprecedented stardom, “against the backdrop of the evolving cultural landscape and loss of innocence in America.” Central to this entire journey is one of the most significant and influential people in Elvis’s life: Priscilla Presley (Olivia DeJonge), whom he met in Germany before they moved in together in Elvis’ hometown of Memphis, Tennessee.
“The life of Elvis Presley could not be a better canvas in which to explore America in the 50s, the 60s and the 70s,” Baz Luhrmann tells The Sydney Morning Herald.
“That 42 years [until his death in 1977] is three great lives put into a short period of time. He was the original punk in some regards. He was wildly provocative… there really were riots.”
The screenplay has been penned by Luhrmann himself alongside Sam Bromell (The Get Down), Jeremy Doner (The Killing), as well as veteran collaborator Craig Pearce – whose oeuvre includes co-writing everything from Stricly Ballroom to Romeo + Juliet, Moulin Rouge, and The Great Gatsby.
In addition to Austin Butler, Tom Hanks, and Olivia DeJonge, Elvis features Yola Quartey as Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Luke Bracey as Jerry Schilling, Kelvin Harrison Jr. as B.B. King, Dacre Montgomery as Steve Binder, Helen Thomson as Gladys Presley (Elvis’ mother), Richard Roxburgh as Vernon Presley (Elvis’ father), David Wenham as Hank Snow, Alton Mason as Little Richard, Natasha Bassett as Dixie Locke, and more.
Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis is slated to release here in Australia on June 23rd, 2022 – check out the first trailer above.