Updating Elvis’ Tunes For A New Generation

April 27th, 2022Updating Elvis’ Tunes For A New Generation

Remind Me ELVIS opens in theatres on June 24th

Baz Luhrmann often plays around with music in his movies. It traces back to his use of 1990s alternative grunge artists like Garbage, Everclear, Radiohead, and The Cardigans when he did ROMEO + JULIET with Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes. The director really turned heads when he instructed Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor to sing their way through modern interpretations of sweeping pop love songs for the majestic MOULIN ROUGE! And when it came time to approach THE GREAT GATSBY, Luhrmann said that he wanted to shake up Jazz, so he collaborated with Jay-Z for a modern soundtrack of hip hop singles.

It worked. In Baz Luhrmann’s hands, it always works. And based on the footage for Luhrmann’s upcoming ELVIS, which he just screened as part of Warner Bros.’ panel at CinemaCon 2022 in Las Vegas, it’s going to work all over again. The movie is set to arrive in theatres this June.

If you know the way that Luhrmann approaches subjects, you know that ELVIS is not going to be a traditional, staid musician biopic. Though it will trace the meteoric rise of Elvis Presley (played by Austin Butler), the movie also is going to touch on the cultural impact this controversial young artist had on the country, and the world, over the course of his historic career.

Opposite Austin Butler will be the legendary Oscar winner Tom Hanks, playing Presley’s longtime manager Col. Tom Parker. But as Luhrmann spoke of ELVIS from the stage at CinemaCon, he made it clear that the music and songbook of The King will be the star of this movie. You are going to hear the hits, from “Hound Dog” and “Jailhouse Rock” to “Suspicious Minds.” But the arrangements of the songs will be tailored to the energy of the scenes in which they are being used.

For example, the scene that Baz Luhrmann showed the CinemaCon crowd involved Elvis performing live in front of a hundred screaming young female fans. The concert organizers warn him not to swivel a hip or go so far as to wiggle a finger. Do you think he listened?

But the way that Luhrmann captured the performance, as well as the reaction of both the fans and the horrified, conservative parents watching from the bleachers, put us into the moment and surrounded us with sound. It ensured that ELVIS is going to be the type of experience you are going to want to have in a movie theatre, where the top-notch sound system will capture every enhancement that Luhrmann put into his musical arrangements. And then you can head home after seeing ELVIS and listen to the soundtrack.

ELVIS stars Tom Hanks, Austin Butler, Olivia Dejonge, Yola, and Kelvin Harrison Jr. It arrives in theatres in June, and looks to be a rocking time at the multiplex.

Remind Me ELVIS opens in theatres on June 24th

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