‘Elvis’ Movie: The Wildly Impressive Way The King’s Voice Was Blended With Austin Butler’s

by Samantha Whidden

Following the highly anticipated premiere of the biopic “Elvis,” the film’s composer, Elliott Wheeler, reveals how the music legend’s voice was blended with actor Austin Butler’s. 

While speaking to Collider, the “Elvis” composer stated that Austin Butler personally performed each line of every performance audience saw on the big screen. Music editor Jamieson Shaw notably worked with Butler to enhance Butler’s version by splicing in Elvis Presley’s recording where it was necessary. This approach was done over lip-syncing. 

“We ended up slicing [parts of] Austin’s performance,” Wheel explained. “We used a lot of the breaths, grunts, and body movements that are Austin, and we’d switch back to Elvis.”

Meanwhile, it was noted that during the first half of the film, the vocals were primarily Butler, up until 1968. “Everything after that was Elvis,” Wheeler revealed. “And that was partly to do with the fidelity of the steams – the stereo recordings sourced from mixes of multiple individual tracks, such as drums, vocals, and bass – in this case, we were using vocal stems.”

Austin Butler Talks Honoring Elvis Presley in the Biopic 

While also speaking to Collider, Austin Butler opened up about honoring Elvis Presley through the biopic. “This is beyond the film for me,” he explained. “Because it’s honoring a man’s life and one who has been so misconstrued, and his life has been so pulled out of context, and all his family’s gone through.”

Butler also stated there was a lot of pressure to do Elvis Presley and his family justice. “This has taught me a lot about how to manage that level of responsibility,” Butler said. “And the feeling of when you have moments of self-doubt, what do you do, and all that kind of stuff.”

Butler then admitted it’s taking a little while to actually find himself post-Elvis role. “It was really a solid couple months before I really felt some semblance of normal afterward. I’d never done something in the way where I just put myself aside.” 

Butler also noted while trying to find himself again, he didn’t see family or friends. “I didn’t se anybody for the two years that I was filming the movie or working on it. You don’t know what to do with yourself when you finish. It’s really strange.”

Austin Butler Says He Was Scared of Elvis’ Family Seeing the Biopic

When asked about fans seeing the film, Butler said he was scared of Elvis’ family seeing it. “That was when I was sweating. I was really nervous because they were at the core of everything for me. Once I knew how they felt about it, that relieved so much of the stress that I had felt for so long.”

In regards to his sister seeing the film, Butler added, “I was so grateful to get to share with her the thing that I… I told her last night, ‘I’m sorry that I disappeared for two years,’ because it’s a weird thing.”