New Elvis Biopic Casts Austin Butler in Starring Role

The "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood" actor will star as a young King of Rock n' Roll

Butler will portray the King on the big screen
Butler will portray the King on the big screen
Theo Wargo/Getty Images

Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis biopic has crowned its King.

Actor Austin Butler will star as Elvis Presley in the upcoming Warner Bros. feature film. The actor landed the role after numerous screen tests the studio held with a handful of actors in late June, Variety reported.

“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, commenting on the “vast array of talent” from which Austin was ultimately selected.

Luhrmann, who co-wrote the script with Craig Pearce, said he first heard about Butler from the actor’s role opposite Denzel Washington in The Iceman Cometh on Broadway. “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 said.

The 27-year-old actor’s recent credits include Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and Jim Jarmusch’s comedy The Dead Don’t Die. Prior to big screen success, Butler appeared on the small screen in a number of popular teen series, including The Carrie Diaries, Switched at Birth and Zoey 101.

In Luhrmann’s new Elvis biopic — the director’s first film since 2013’s The Great Gatsby — Butler will star alongside Tom Hanks, who is playing Presley’s manager, Col. Tom Parker. The film will reportedly portray the relationship between the veteran manager and the rags-to-riches star.

Shooting for the film is slated to begin in early 2020.

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