The hotly contested role of Elvis Presley in the upcoming Baz Luhrmann biopic has been cast, with Vanessa Hudgen‘s longtime BF Austin Butler snatching the part from bigger names Ansel Elgort, Miles Teller, and Harry Styles.
Of course, the WOW Report has been following Butler’s career for over a decade, since his early days on iCarly, Hannah Montana, and Ruby & the Rockits, on through to his co-starring role as Sebastian Kydd on The Carrie Diaries. More recently, he wowed on Broadway opposite Denzel Washington in the George C. Wolfe-directed adaptation of Eugene O’Neill’s The Iceman Cometh, drawing strong reviews for his role of “lost boy” Don Parritt. He will be seen later this month opposite Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt and Margot Robbie in Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and can currently be seen on the big screen alongside Bill Murray and Adam Driver in Jim Jarmusch’s The Dead Don’t Die.
Says director Luhrmann:
“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 for me to encounter such a vast array of talent. I had heard about Austin Butler from his stand-out role opposite Denzel Washington in The Iceman Cometh on Broadway, and through a journey of extensive screen testing and music and performance workshops, I knew unequivocally that I had found someone who could embody the spirit of one of the world’s most iconic musical figures.”
Luhrmann will direct from the current screenplay he wrote with Craig Pearce. Tom Hanks has signed on to play Presley’s manager and mentor Colonel Tom Parker.
(via Deadline; Photo: Avalon)