The movie will follow Presley's "elevation to a level of stardom and celebrity matched only by The Beatles, set against an evolving cultural landscape and loss of innocence in America" and seen through the "prism" of Presley's relationship with his manager Colonel Tom Parker, who will be played by Tom Hanks. The role of Presley could possibly be a star-making turn for Butler, who has so far had several small roles in various film and television projects.
Read on to learn more about the actor before he swivels his hips on the big screen.
Butler's first acting role was as a background actor on Nickelodeon's Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide. Series star Lindsay Shaw introduced Butler to her agent, and he began seriously pursuing acting. In addition to Ned's Declassified, Butler also appeared in the Nickelodeon shows iCarly and Zoey 101 and the Disney Channel staples Hannah Montana and Wizards of Waverly Place early in his career.
He then went on to land television roles on the short-lived ABC Family show Ruby & the Rockits, the CW's Life Unexpected, the CW's Sex and the City prequel The Carrie Diaries, Spike's The Shannara Chronicles and ABC Family's Switched at Birth. He's also scored guest spots on the CW's Arrow, CSI: Miami and CSI: NY.
Along with his roles on the small screen, Butler has appeared in films including Aliens in the Attic, The Intruders and the direct-to-DVD High School Musical spinoff Sharpay's Fabulous Adventure.
The 27-year-old can currently be seen in Jim Jarmusch’s The Dead Don't Die and is appearing in the upcoming Quentin Tarantino film Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.
In addition to acting on set, Butler also has experience in front of a live audience, which will come in handy for his portrayal of Presley. In 2018, the California native starred as Don Parritt, the "lost boy," in The Iceman Cometh, for which he received positive reviews. He had previously done stage work when he was cast in the play Death of the Author at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles in 2014.
Butler has been dating Vanessa Hudgens since 2011, and the High School Musical star made sure to express her excitement over Butler's latest project after the news was announced on Instagram.
"I AMMMM OVERRRR THE F—ING MOOOOOOOOONNNNN. I CANT WAIT," she gushed. "SO PROUD OF MY HONEYYYYY!!!"
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Butler beat out a slew of actors to nab the role of Presley including Ansel Elgort, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Miles Teller and Harry Styles, who, along with Butler, all recorded a film test for Luhrmann, according to Deadline.
“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 explained in a statement. “Throughout the casting process, it was an honor for me to encounter such a vast array of talent. I had heard about Austin Butler from his stand-out role opposite Denzel Washington in The Iceman Cometh on Broadway, and 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.”
Photo Credit: Getty / Theo Wargo
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