Luhrmann’s Elvis to shake up Cannes

World premiere with Butler, Hanks and DeJonge in attendance

by Richard Mowe

All shook up: Austin Butler as Elvis in Baz Luhrmann’s biopic to be world premiered at the Cannes Film Festival
All shook up: Austin Butler as Elvis in Baz Luhrmann’s biopic to be world premiered at the Cannes Film Festival Photo: Warner Bros
Australian director Baz Luhrmann will be back at the Cannes Film Festival to launch the world premiere of his new film Elvis, with some of the cast including Austin Butler, Tom Hanks and Olivia DeJonge by his side.

Luhrmann has Cannes form. His musical Moulin Rouge opened the Festival run 2001 while The Great Gatsby was shown in 2013. Luhrmann’s first feature Strictly Ballroom got him noticed early on when it was shown and acclaimed in the Un Certain Regard section in 1992.

Tom Hanks as Colonel Parker
Tom Hanks as Colonel Parker Photo: Warner Bros
The organisers, who will reveal the full programme at a media launch in Paris on 14 April, note that the film explores the life and music of Presley (played by Austin Butler), seen through the prism of his complicated relationship with his enigmatic manager, Colonel Tom Parker (Tom Hanks). Luhrmann delves into the complex dynamic between Presley and Parker spanning more than 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 most significant and influential people in Elvis’s life, Priscilla Presley (Olivia DeJonge).

Luhrmann has explained that early recordings of Elvis' voice and music were "somewhat nostalgic" but were not good enough to place directly in the Hollywood blockbuster. Instead, he asked Butler, to sing and record the iconic songs for cinema audiences.

Luhrmann and Austin visited Graceland during the production of the film where they met with Priscilla Presley - the singer's ex-wife and the mother of his child, Lisa Marie Presley, and she gave her blessing to the production.

The film will be released in France on Wednesday 22 June 22 with a US and UK and Ireland release on Friday 24 June.

Austin Butler voices Elvis in the production
Austin Butler voices Elvis in the production Photo: Warner Bros

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