Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis Release Date, Cast, And Plot – What We Know So Far
Though they’re nothing new for Hollywood, the musical biopic is a variety of film that has increased in popularity within the past few years. The likes of “Walk the Line” and “Ray” did fairly well in their time, but none can compare to 2018’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.” The somewhat dramatized look at the life of late Queen frontman Freddie Mercury (portrayed by Rami Malek) performed incredibly well critically and commercially, in addition to nabbing multiple Academy Awards. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that none other than Elvis Presley is due for a similar treatment.
January 8, 1935, marks the birth of Elvis Aaron Presley, a kid from Tupelo, Mississippi, who would go on to earn his place as one of the biggest cultural icons in history. Throughout the 1950s and ’60s, Presley became nothing short of a musical sensation whose fanbase spanned the globe. Soon dubbed “The King of Rock and Roll,” he sold numerous records, took over radio stations everywhere, and even popped up on screens big and small. To this day — now 44 years removed from his untimely death — Elvis Presley remains an entertainment giant with a legacy that will live on for generations to come.
With a résumé like that, it’s clear there’s plenty of material on the table for a cinematic adaptation. The mastermind behind such projects as “Moulin Rouge!” and “Strictly Ballroom,” Baz Luhrmann, is the one responsible for the picture known simply as “Elvis,” which appears to finally be picking up steam. Here’s what we know about the biopic so far.
When will Elvis hit theaters?
For those who don’t know, Baz Luhrmann’s “Elvis” has been trapped in development hell for quite a long time now. Rumblings of such a production date back to 2014, but audiences were met with radio silence for years after initial reports made the rounds. Thankfully, 2019 broke the trend, and by January of 2020, principal photography kicked off. The COVID-19 pandemic inevitably halted filming come March, not picking up again until September of that same year. So, with 2021 nearly over, where is “Elvis” at now?
The answer to such a question isn’t hard to find, seeing as Baz Luhrmann himself addressed it via Twitter on November 15, 2021. “Elvis Monday,” he wrote, continuing, “Made a little something to let you good people know we are taking care of business.” To round off his social media post, he shared that the “Elvis” release date is now June 24, 2022 — a bit later than the previously revealed June 3, 2022. To build a bit more excitement, he included a brief teaser for the biopic set to a rather haunting rendition of the classic Presley track, “Suspicious Minds.”
Elvis packs a star-studded cast
Now that Baz Luhrmann has let the world know the premiere date of “Elvis,” it’s worth taking a look at the cast he’s assembled to bring the picture to life. At the forefront as Elvis Presley himself is Austin Butler, who landed the gig in July of 2019. The 30-year-old actor has been honing his craft since the mid-2000s, rising to prominence through such films as “Aliens in the Attic” and TV shows as “Zoey 101.” He really hit his stride at the tail-end of the 2010s, though, appearing in “The Dead Don’t Die,” “Once Upon A Time in Hollywood,” and “The Shannara Chronicles.”
Of course, “Elvis” isn’t a one-man show, so a bevy of talented actors have signed on to join Butler. The cast includes Tom Hanks as Colonel Tom Parker, Olivia DeJonge as Priscilla Presley, Kelvin Harrison Jr. as B.B. King, Yola Quartey as Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Alton Mason as Little Richard, Dacre Montgomery as Steve Binder, David Wenham as Hank Snow, and Luke Bracey as Jerry Schilling. Alongside them, Helen Thompson and Richard Roxburgh will play Elvis’ parents, Gladys and Vernon Presley, with Chaydon Jay slated to portray Elvis as a young boy.
Elvis is taking a different approach to the musical biopic
A big reason why the biopic has become so popular likely has to do with the fact that the story is already written. In most cases, such films are about people whose lives have ended, so the beginning, middle, and end are all done and documented. Baz Luhrmann easily could’ve made “Elvis” a cut-and-paste in this way, but according to Collider, he’s taking a more ambitious approach. As opposed to covering Presley’s entire life, the director reportedly seeks to focus in on his complicated partnership with Tom Parker over a 20-year period.
At the same time, Luhrmann also plans on exploring the cultural shift that came with Elvis Presley’s rise to fame. In reality, he played a big hand in the youth of the United States’ rejection of longstanding social norms through his provocative dancing and loud, brash music. That should create an interesting juxtaposition with the development of his romantic relationship with Priscilla and the exploration of the role she played in his personal life at that time. With all of those pieces in play, “Elvis” has the potential to be one of the most interesting biographical dramas to date.