Austin Butler (The Shannara Chronicles) will play young Elvis Presley in Baz Luhrmann’s untitled drama on the singer’s life.
The film will trace Presley’s elevation to a level of stardom and celebrity matched only by The Beatles, set against an evolving cultural landscape and loss of innocence in America. It will also follow the relationship between Elvis and his manager Colonel Tom Parker (Tom Hanks).
Luhrmann said in a statement to Deadline:
“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. 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.”