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'Elvis' Austin Butler rules as the King of Rock 'n’ Roll

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This story is about Elvis Presley and Colonel Tom Parker's relationship — a true story told brilliantly and creatively that only Baz Luhrmann, in his unique, artistic way, could have delivered, a director who put his heart and soul into this film. Austin Butler is outstanding, while Tom Hanks plays Col Parker.

"Elvis" is an epic, big-screen spectacle from Warner Bros Pictures and visionary, Oscar-nominated filmmaker Baz Luhrmann that explores the life and music of Elvis Presley, starring Austin Butler and Oscar winner Tom Hanks.

A thoroughly cinematic drama, Elvis's story is seen through the lens of his complicated relationship with his enigmatic manager, Colonel Parker. As told by Parker, the film delves into the complex dynamic between the two spanning over 20 years, from Presley's rise to fame to his unprecedented stardom, against the backdrop of the evolving cultural landscape and loss of innocence in America.

Central to that journey is one of the significant and influential people in Elvis's life, Priscilla Presley (Olivia DeJonge).

"While this story is called ‘Elvis', it's also Colonel Tom Parker's story — the telling of it at least; he's our way in, our narrator, and an unreliable one at that," states writer/director/producer Luhrmann, whose extensive research into music icon Elvis aided in his discovery of the strange partnership behind the artist's public success and personal struggles. 

"As I like to say, Colonel Tom Parker was never a colonel, never a Tom, never a Parker, but a fascinating character all the same. He was a carnival barker dedicated to finding that one great act.”

'Elvis' Austin Butler rules as the King of Rock 'n’ Roll

'Elvis' Austin Butler rules as the King of Rock 'n’ Roll

Is Austin Butler really singing in 'Elvis'?

The actor watched multiple videos of Elvis performing, studying footage of films and concerts to perfect the singer's voice.

Butler said he felt "such a responsibility to Elvis and to [ex-wife] Priscilla and [daughter] Lisa Marie, and all the people around the world who love him so much," to get the portrayal right.

In the film, Elvis's early voice is sung exclusively by Butler. But as the singer ages, Butler's voice is blended with tapes of midlife Elvis to give as similar a vocal tone as possible, a decision made by Luhrmann.

'Elvis' Austin Butler rules as the King of Rock 'n’ Roll

'Elvis' Austin Butler rules as the King of Rock 'n’ Roll

Is Austin Butler really playing guitar in 'Elvis'?

Butler revealed in his "Variety" interview that he struggled at first getting up on a stage to film in front of around 600 extras, in a bedazzled jumpsuit, trying to embody the King of Rock 'n' Roll.

"I learned that Elvis was very shy as a kid," Butler explained, "... and he would ask people to turn around when he played the guitar and turn off the lights in the room. And I thought, that's how I feel now. But he overcame that," and so did Butler.

Principal photography on "Elvis" took place in Queensland, Australia with the support of the Queensland government, Screen Queensland and the Australian government's Producer Offset programme.

A Warner Bros Pictures Presentation, A Bazmark Production, A Jackal Group Production, A Baz Luhrmann Film, "Elvis" is distributed worldwide by Warner Bros Pictures. It is set to release in theatres in North America on June 24, and internationally beginning June 22.

Elvis is rated PG-13 for substance abuse, strong language, suggestive material and smoking.

'Elvis' Austin Butler rules as the King of Rock 'n’ Roll

Published : June 23, 2022