It’s been in the works for several years, but visionary director Baz Luhrmann is finally ready to move forward with his biopic on Colonel Tom Parker, better known as the manager of one Elvis Presley. The film will focus on Elvis’ younger years and the relationship between the rising entertainment personality and his handler, who will be played by Academy Award® winner Tom Hanks.
And now, after much speculation as to who would swivel their hips, curl their lips and sing the hits, we've found out who Luhrmann has cast as the film's young lead. After the intense casting search that saw Ansel Elgort, Miles Teller and Harry Styles in the running, a surprising contender was the one who ultimately won out.
Ladies and gentlemen, your new Elvis Presley is none other than rising star Austin Butler!
A native of Anaheim, California, Butler started his career as a veteran of both The Disney Channel and Nickelodeon stables of production. This led to him landing roles on such TV shows as "Zoey 101", "Wizards of Waverly Place" and, most recently, "The Shannara Chronicles." But he does have some limited film work on his resume as well, with parts in films like ALIENS IN THE ATTIC and YOGA HOSERS building a solid foundation to his cinematic output.
Most recently, Austin Butler racked up some new claims to fame, as he not only was featured in Jim Jarmusch's THE DEAD DON'T DIE, but he'll also be playing the role of real-life murderer Charles “Tex” Watson in Quentin Tarantino’s upcoming film, ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD.
But what probably most separated Butler from his more experienced peers, all of whom filmed screen tests as he had, is that he has the closest look to that of Elvis Presley himself. While performance is king, it certainly doesn't hurt to have a look complementary to the figure you're playing.
It was a field of contenders that was not only extremely competitive, but also made of some unique choices in the running. Now, with Austin Butler being named as the Elvis to Tom Hanks' Colonel Tom Parker, the stage is set to prepare for this as-of-yet-untitled biopic's inevitable production.
While there's no release date slated for this film just yet, Butler and Hanks will see themselves gearing up to start production for Baz Luhrmann's latest grand vision of history at some point early next year.