‘Elvis’ Director Baz Luhrmann Explains His Approach to Doing Presley’s Life Justice

by Megan Molseed

Elvis Presley has long been one of the most prolific icons in the music industry. And, during his wildly sensational career, Elvis Presley took rock-n-roll from a music genre that was just edging into popularity to a genre that has now become a major part of today’s music world. Now, Elvis Presley’s amazing story is being told via the upcoming Baz Luhrmann-created biopic film, Elvis.

The biopic, which is set to be released on June 24, is an exciting project that many are looking forward to seeing. The Baz Luhrmann creation follows Elvis’s life story in two parts. First, the rise of the iconic star, and second, the final part of his legacy before Elvis’s untimely death on August 16, 1977. However, Luhrmann says, there were challenges in developing this film about The King of Rock-N-Roll. Primarily making sure that he was doing Presley’s life justice in the biopic film.

Elvis Creator, Baz Luhrmann Discusses How He Made Sure To Approach The King’s Life Story, Making Sure To Do His Story Justice

Filmmaker Baz Luhrmann is no stranger to creating impressive films that have captivated movie-goers for decades. He’s taken us into the lives of some of our favorite literary characters in The Great Gatsby and given us a fantastic glimpse into the burlesque world with Moulin Rouge.

Now, Luhrmann is telling the story of one of rock-n-roll’s most influential musicians with the upcoming Elvis biopic. However, the filmmaker says, it wasn’t an easy task as his goal was to make sure he understood who Elvis was in order to create the film.

“This isn’t like something I read in a book,” Baz Luhrmann explains of his research for the upcoming film. In fact, the filmmaker says, he made sure to go as close to the source as he could when developing the movie.

“I tracked down one of his living friends who sadly passed last year,” Luhrmann explains. “And I talked to him all about it.”

Elvis Filmmaker Tells Recounted Stories From Rock Star’s Inner-Circle In Upcoming Biopic

Baz Luhrmann says that it was important that the stories he tells in Elvis be true to life. And, after speaking to the source, he felt confident that he was doing The King’s life justice.

“The stories he told me are in the film,” Baz Luhrmann says of the connection he made with one of Elvis’s real-life friends.

“He was always searching,” Luhrmann says of the late rock-n-roll icon.

“As long as he was moving forward and searching, he was alive,” the filmmaker explains of Elvis.

“As long as he was taking on new things he was alive,” Luhrmann adds. “He was vital he was in the moment. And when he was on stage with an audience he was in the moment.”

However, Luhrmann notes, it was also important to tell the story of another part of Elvis. The side that the public rarely saw.

“The moment there is no longer a chance to search, then it reverses itself,” Luhrmann says of Elvis’s inspiration.

“And the tragedy is being caught in that casino by somebody who needed to keep him there,” the filmmaker explains.

“For their own personal reasons,” he adds. “That is the beginning of the corruption of his spirit.”