A rising star has landed the top role as Elvis Presley in an upcoming movie about his early career and incredible transformation in the limelight.
Director Baz Luhrmann has chosen 27-year-old Austin Butler – famed for his roles in Dead Don’t Die and his upcoming role in Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood – to portray the King of Rock & Roll.
The biopic, yet to be named, will recreate the star’s journey from a broke and struggling singer to global superstar, with a major focus on his complex relationship with manager Colonel Tom Parker.
“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,” Luhrmann said in a statement to Deadline.
“Throughout the casting process, it was an honor (sic) for me to encounter such a vast array of talent.
Revealing that Butler’s Broadway performance stood out in particular to him, Luhrmann added that he also undertook “extensive screening testing and music and performance workshops” to find the right actor and added: “I knew unequivocally that I had found someone who could embody the spirit of one of the world’s most iconic musical figures.”
Butler is widely reported to have beaten strong competition from the likes of Ansel Elgort, Miles Teller and even One Direction star Harry Styles for the career-changing role.
The movie is set to begin filming in Queensland, Australia, early next year.
It comes after it was confirmed award-winning actor Tom Hanks, 63, will take on the role of manager Colonel Tom Parker, set to feature heavily alongside Butler in the film.