After various speculation and scrutiny into the recently announced shortlist of actors in the running to play Elvis Presley in Baz Luhrmann’s currently untitled biopic (https://www.indiependent.co.uk/film-news-five-actors-in-the-running-to-play-elvis-in-baz-luhrmanns-biopic/), we now have a winner. Come forth, Austin Butler, the man who we will be undoubtedly told in the film’s various marketing campaigns “Is Elvis Presley”. The actor, whose previous credits are often found in the history of the Disney Channel, has beaten out the likes of Miles Teller, Harry Styles and Ansel Elgort to land the coveted role, that if done correctly, could very easily land him a potential Oscar nomination.
Though he perhaps isn’t as well known or has been able to boast as much variety in his career compared to his counterparts, it is worth noting that Butler has expanded his horizons with roles in the upcoming Tarantino film Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and Jim Jarmusch’s star-studded zombie flick The Dead Don’t Die. Butler may not have been my first choice to portray to legendary King of Rock n’ Roll but personal worries aside, it is a huge step-up for the actor who will surely relish the opportunity to showcase his talents to a potentially massive audience.
With Luhrmann at the helm and an icon at the centre of its story, this film will surely make some serious money, yet may be lacking in the substance to really allow Butler to get the best out of the role, but knowing the Academy’s love for all things biopic, it’s a relatively safe bet to predict this will be a film in the awards conversation. Starring opposite Butler as Elvis’s conniving manager Colonel Parker is the one and only Tom Hanks, so if any co-star is going to bring the best out of a film’s lead then surely Hanks is the man to do so. As casting and pre-production continue on the currently untitled film, it is more than likely going to be some wait until we see Butler in the iconic role, so between now and then, we have only our ‘suspicious minds’ to predict what this film will bring.
Words by Elliott Jones