‘Elvis’: Everything to Know About Baz Luhrmann’s Upcoming Elvis Presley Biopic

Way back in 2014, Baz Luhrmann entered negotiations to direct an Elvis Presley biopic. After the initial discussions, however, talks surrounding the film died down. Five years later, the biopic surfaced again, this time with a few of its leading roles, as well as the writing crew, nailed down. Finally, nearly a decade after the film was first announced, Elvis is on the horizon, hitting theaters in July of this year.

Ahead of the release of the epic biographical musical drama, director Baz Luhrmann gave Elvis fans an idea of what they can expect from the film in an interview with Twitter Movies.

Rather than a movie specifically about Elvis, Luhrmann says Elvis Presley is merely the vehicle he chose to tell the story of America as a whole. “Someone like Shakespeare would take a very iconic, famous character, and try and explore a larger thing. And if you want to explore America in the ’50s, the ’60s, and the ’70s, you couldn’t pick a greater, more iconic life than that of Elvis Presley,” Baz Luhrmann said of his upcoming biopic.

In the same interview, Austin Butler, the actor behind Elvis Presley in Elvis, described how much earning the role of the titular character meant to him. “I don’t really remember a moment in my life where Elvis wasn’t a part of it. But that’s the thing about Elvis. He’s sort of become the wallpaper of society.”

“And he’s such a super-human figure,” Butler continued. “So, to me, it was the curiosity of finding out who is he as a human, and delve into studying everything I could on him and really getting down to who he was as a man. That’s what I found really intriguing.”

Elvis Actor Got Priscilla Presley’s Blessing Ahead of Elvis Presley Biopic

It’s not uncommon for a biopic or semi-biographical series to receive backlash. Unfortunately, many of these productions are created without the go-ahead from the person (or people) they’re about. That won’t be the case with Elvis, however, as the biopic crew got a blessing from none other than Priscilla Presley herself.

Elvis director Baz Luhrmann described going to Memphis with his leading actor, Austin Butler, on a whim. “Spontaneously, we’re in Nashville,” Luhrmann said. “And I say to Austin, ‘Do you want to drive to Memphis?’”

“On the way there, I get a phone call,” Lurhmann continued. “And said, ‘Let’s go to Graceland.’ Guess what? Priscilla [Presley] is at Graceland. I said, ‘Do you think she’d like to meet Austin?’”

Apparently, Priscilla Presley’s answer was yes, because Austin Butler now has an incredible story about meeting The King’s ex-wife. “I open the door and walk in and I’m sort of just waiting in the living room,” Butler says of visiting Graceland. “And eventually, [Priscilla] walks in, and she’s so ethereal, it took my breath away.”

“She just looked me in the eyes. And there was something so profound about staring into these eyes that meant so much to Elvis. I mean, it’s giving me chills right now. And she said, ‘You have a lot of support,’ and she hugged me. That was so huge for me, getting that blessing.”

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