Baz Luhrmann is singing the praises of the actors in his Elvis Presley biopic. The Australian-born director/producer said Austin Butler, who is playing Elvis Presley, and Tom Hanks, playing his manager Colonel Tom Parker, “dug deep” for their performances.
“Everyone just dug in deep,” he said, according to The Express. “I think they were just aware of the privilege of being able to actually make something.”
The movie has been a difficult production from the beginning. From choosing the actor who could actually portray Elvis Presley convincingly to having to shut down production after Hanks contracted COVID-19 last year, the movie has been a struggle.
But Luhrmann says they’ve wrapped shooting the film, and he is currently editing it.
Luhrmann, known for his big productions such as Moulin Rouge and The Great Gatsby (2013), has proven he can juggle story and spectacle, which Elvis’ life is full of. He also consulted with Graceland, the King’s Memphis estate, to ensure the film was staying accurate, The Express said.
The still-untitled movie will hit theaters on June 3, 2022. Producers had to delay the release because of the pandemic. So Luhrmann was wary of giving away many details of the project this early into editing it.
“It’s like a pregnancy. It might be all going really well, but you don’t want to talk about your child until your child is safe,” he said.
But he couldn’t help but gush over his lead actors Hanks and Butler, who he said are “terrific” in the picture.
Tom Parker’s Wife Approved of Casting in Elvis Pic
In the story of Elvis Presley, his manager Colonel Tom Parker is usually the villain. Someone who saw Elvis’ potential early and exploited it for personal gain. Parker’s wife, Loanna Parker, hated that.
She felt that Col. Parker helped guide The King’s career and protected him. They were a team, not a parasite and host.
Loanna Parker died in 2020, but a year earlier, she told TMZ she was happy that producers chose Tom Hanks to play her husband. That’s because Hanks very rarely plays villains.
“(Parker and Presley) each made history in their own way,” she said. “I would like to see that clarified. I’d like to see the truth there. I have great faith in Tom Hanks’ sincerity and his integrity. I just pray that he wouldn’t do anything less than the truth.
“There’s fictionalization out there that Colonel took more from Elvis than he should have. He never did,” she said. “Elvis was his only artist. He did everything for him. He did publicity, he did advertising, he did all of that. Financially, it was fair — it was very fair. They were partners.”