Austin Butler: who is Elvis actor in new Baz Luhrmann movie, trailer - and who’s in the cast with Tom Hanks?

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The much anticipated Baz Luhrmann biopic has its first trailer, giving viewers a taste of the songs that will be in the movie

Today (24 June) sees the release of Elvis, the new film chronicalling the life and times of the rock ‘n’ roll hero.

Here is everything you need to know about it.

What happens in Elvis?

Elvis tells the life story of Presley through the lens of his complicated relationship with enigmatic manager Colonel Tom Parker.

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In the trailer viewers are offered a glimpse of the singer’s Graceland mansion as well as the intense press attention he faced, set against the backdrop of political unrest in the US and the killings of Martin Luther King Jr and president John F Kennedy.

The King of Rock and Roll is seen singing memorable hits - including ‘Jailhouse Rock’, ‘That’s All Right Mama’ and ‘Unchained Melody’ - to raucous audiences.

Presley died aged 42 in 1977 following one of the most influential careers in popular music.

Speaking during a Q&A session following the trailer launch, Luhrmann said: “Someone like Shakespeare would take a very iconic, famous character and try and explore a larger theme.

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“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.”

Who’s in the cast?

Austin Butler as Elvis Presley in Elvis (Photo: Warner Bros. Pictures)Austin Butler as Elvis Presley in Elvis (Photo: Warner Bros. Pictures)
Austin Butler as Elvis Presley in Elvis (Photo: Warner Bros. Pictures) | Warner Bros. Pictures

Stepping into the enviable role of the famed musician is Austin Butler, a 30-year old American actor who previously appeared in Quentin Tarantino’s Hollywood hit, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

Butler has said he feels an “incredible responsibility” in playing Presley, and felt it would be “impossible” to recreate the persona of the world famous rock star and his “superhuman status” when starting out in the role.

Butler said he had tried to live Presley’s life “as truthfully as possible” while filming to find the humanity of the character.

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“When I began the process of this I set out to get my voice to sound identical to his – that was my goal,” he said. “If you heard a recording of me and you heard a recording of him you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference.

Tom Hanks plays manager Colonel Tom Parker, with whom Presley had a tumultuous relationship, and is seen telling him: “I wish to promote you Mr Presley. Are you ready to fly?”

Hanks tested positive for Covid-19 during filming in March 2020, becoming one of the first celebrities to go public with a diagnosis and forcing production (which was taking place in Luhrmann’s native Australia) to pause.

Richard Roxburgh - who worked with Luhrmann on 2001’s Moulin Rouge! - plays Presley’s father, Vernon, while Helen Thomson has been cast as the singer’s mother, Gladys.

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David Wenham and Dacre Montgomery also star in the film; Wenham will play country music singer Hank Snow, and Stranger Things star Montgomery will play TV director Steve Binder.

When can I watch it?

Elvis will be released in cinemas on Friday 24 June 2022.

The film was previously scheduled to be released in October 2021, before being delayed to November due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and later to June 2022.

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