Warner Bros. is releasing a number of compelling blockbusters in the coming months, ranging from genre fare to emotional drama. Elvis, the upcoming film directed and co-written by Baz Luhrmann, will apparently fall into the latter category, chronicling aspects of the legendary life of musician and cultural icon Elvis Presley (Austin Butler). After surprising audiences with the first trailer earlier this year, Elvis has a lot of anticipation surrounding it – something that will likely be expanded upon with Luhrmann’s final comments. ComicBook.com‘s Cam Bonomolo recently attended Warner Bros.’ CinemaCon 2022 panel, where Luhrmann explained his approach to Elvisand to Presley’s role in America’s cultural tapestry.
“You’ll hear the classics,” Luhrmann explained. “You’ll see the story of Elvis, but we’ve also translated it for a younger generation.”
“You know, while I was watching this little reel and I thought it kinda looked like a superhero movie,” Luhrmann added. “It’s because actually, Elvis is kind of the original superhero. And I mean he comes from the dirt, and in a few blinding moments, he soars so high, he finds his kryptonite, and also love. And then a beautiful, powerful drama ensues.”
“I love biopics, but it’s not really a biopic, is it? It’s really, for me, about America in the 50s, 60s and 70s,” Luhrmann revealed. “And if you want to talk about America in the 50s and 60s and 70s at the center of culture, for the good, the bad and the ugly, that’s a number [like] Elvis Presley. Like how Shakespeare would take a historical figure like a king and explore a big theme, or Amedee isn’t really about Mozart when you learn so much about Mozart, it’s about jealousy. This film is about America in these three eras – Elvis the rebel, Elvis the highest paid actor in Hollywood and Elvis the living legend, the icon trapped in this hotel less than 10 minutes from here, by a man named Colonel Tom Parker. “
“But Elvis is at the center of it all,” Luhrmann continued. “And, you know, I also really wanted to explore this tension between these two great American things, I love them. And that’s what I think defines the new America, you know, the fact that can bring all these different elements. and creating something new is the artistic gesture, the invention, the inventiveness.”
Butler and Tom Hanks lead a cast that includes Helen Thomson (Top of the Lake: China Girl) as the mother of Elvis, Gladys, Richard Roxburgh (Red Mill!) as the father of Elvis, Vernon, and DeJonge (Visit) as Priscilla. Also in the cast are Luke Bracey (hacksaw crest) as talent manager Jerry Schilling, Natasha Bassett (Hello, Caesar!) as the girlfriend of Elvis, Dixie Locke, David Wenham (The Lord of the Rings Trilogy) as country music artist Hank Snow, Kelvin Harrison Jr. (The Chicago 7 Trial) as iconic blues musician BB King, Xavier Samuel (The Twilight Saga: Eclipse) as guitarist Scotty Moore, Kodi Smit-McPhee (The power of the dog) as the “father of country music” Jimmie Rodgers and Dacre Montgomery (stranger things) as television director Steve Binder.
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Elvis is set to hit theaters on June 24, 2022.