Austin Butler has beaten out Harry Styles and Ansel Elgort to land the role of Elvis Presley in Baz Luhrmann’s new Colonel Tom Parker biopic.
Tom Hanks is already attached to play the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll’s longtime manager, and now director Luhrmann has settled on his Elvis following a month of screen tests and interviews, according to Deadline.
The film, which will shoot early next year in the filmmaker’s native Australia, chronicles Presley’s rise to superstardom in 1950s and 1960s America.
The 27-year-old TV star’s career is on the up – he recently appeared alongside Bill Murray and Adam Driver in Jim Jarmusch’s The Dead Don’t Die and he’s among the stars of Quentin Tarantino’s upcoming Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, and Luhrmann is convinced he’s the right guy to play Elvis.
“I knew I couldn’t make this film if the casting wasn’t absolutely right, and we searched thoroughly for an actor with the ability to evoke the singular natural movement and vocal qualities of this peerless star, but also the inner vulnerability of the artist,” the director tells Deadline.
“Throughout the casting process, it was an honor for me to encounter such a vast array of talent. I had heard about Austin Butler from his stand-out role opposite Denzel Washington in The Iceman Cometh on Broadway, and through a journey of extensive screen testing and music and performance workshops, I knew unequivocally that I had found someone who could embody the spirit of one of the world’s most iconic musical figures.”
Butler’s girlfriend, actress Vanessa Hudgens, was quick to respond to the casting news on Monday (July, 15, 2019), taking to social media and gushing: “I AMMMM OVERRRR THE F***ING MOOOOOOOOONNNNN. I CANT WAIT SO PROUD OF MY HONEYYYYY!!!”