Elvis made its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival Wednesday night. Outside the Palais, the stars walked the red carpet as Elvis Presley hits like “Hound Dog” and “Jailhouse Rock” greeted guests.
And inside the Palais, fans loved the Baz Luhrmann movie.
First, here’s how the Elvis stars looked as they entered the building. Variety posted a short video clip of Austin Butler, who stars as Elvis, and Priscilla Presley, the King’s former wife.
Meanwhile, Deadline reported that the festival-goers inside the Palais gave Elvis a 10-minute standing ovation. The media outlet said that the cheering started as soon as the ending credits began rolling. Festival-goers are passionate about the films. For example, Tom Cruise received a five-minute ovation when Cannes presented him with a special award before the premiere of Top Gun: Maverick. But the Elvis ovation was the longest so far.
Luhrmann addressed the crowd after the screening, noting that for a while, he thought the pandemic would kill his Elvis movie.
“I really believed that we would come to Cannes, but then the Covid came and the film was shut down and it was never going to happen,” he said. “But for the bravery of Tom [Hanks] to come back and the bravery of this cast and this crew to go on through Covid and finish this film. And we are back in Cannes.
“And to see these streets so full of people who love movies of every form of life, every kind of movie, says so much more about what this place means and what it means to be back in the cinema. For that we are eternally grateful, Cannes. … All I can say is, merci beaucoup, merci beaucoup.”
Austin Butler portrays Elvis. Tom Hanks is Colonel Tom Parker, while Olivia DeJonge is Priscilla Presley. Buhrmann said the movie shows the King through his complicated relationship with Parker. It also is about multiple phases of Elvis’ life, including when he’s viewed as a rebel, when he was one of the biggest stars in the world and then as his career began its twilight in Vegas.
Luhrmann explained his vision at Cinema Con. “Elvis is kind of the original superhero,” he said. “He rises so high, then finds his Kryptonite and falls so low, and then a beautiful, powerful tragedy ensues.”
Elvis fans, you still have a month before you can check out the movie. It opens in the United States, June 24.
Elvis’ granddaughter, Riley Keough, watched the movie with her mother Lisa Marie and grandmother, Priscilla.
“In the first five minutes, I could feel how much work Baz and Austin put into trying to get it right,” Keough said. “That made me emotional immediately,” Keough said. “I started crying five minutes in and didn’t stop. There’s a lot of family trauma and generational trauma that started around then for our family. I felt honored they worked so hard to really get his essence, to feel his essence. Austin captured that so beautifully.”
Here’s a taste of Elvis to get you through until June 24.