Filmmaker Baz Luhrmann is starting the casting process for his Elvis Presley biopic and is attracting big names in the search. One Direction singer Harry Styles, Miles Teller and Ansel Elgort are all reportedly in the running for the project. Tom Hanks was previously cast as Colonel Tom Parker.
On Monday, Deadline reported that the Moulin Rogue! filmmaker filmed several actors over the weekend and is set to make a final decision by next week.
The top contenders, according to the site, include Styles, Teller and Elgort. Styles is best known as a singer but broke through into acting in Christopher Nolan's 2017 war movie Dunkirk.
Elgort is best known for his roles in Baby Driver, The Fault in Our Stars and is playing Tony in Steven Spielberg's remake of West Side Story.
Teller will next be seen opposite Tom Cruise in Top Gun: Maverick. The Whiplash actor's more recent credits include Only The Brave, Thank You For Your Service and Amazon's new series Too Old to Die Young. He also has a role in Sean Penn's Flag Day.
The unknown on the shortlist is Austin Butler, but movie fans are about to see much more of him. He can be seen in theaters in Jim Jarmusch's zombie movie The Dead Don't Die and has a potentially star-making role in Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon A Time in Hollywood, which opens on July 26. Butler also had roles in The CW's Arrow and The Carrie Diaries.
Luhrmann's movie is expected to center on Presley's rise and his relationship with his manager, Parker, who helped make him a star. Parker oversaw almost every move of Presley's career until the early 1970s. Although he used the title "Colonel," he was not actually a colonel.
Hanks was cast as Parker earlier this year, and Variety reported that Luhrmann was looking for a new star to play Presley. Butler would be the closest of the four names in Deadline's report to fit that bill.
In an interview on BBC Radio's Kermode and Mayo's Film Review, Hanks said the Presley film will be filmed next year. Hanks said he recently read Peter Guralnick's two books on Presley as research.
"I’ve read both of those and… Let me just go back a little bit, my make-up man, Danny Striepeke – who did my make-up, for I think, 17 films – had done Elvis on, among others, Viva Las Vegas… and Harum Sacrum and Kissin’ Cousins," the Toy Story 4 star explained. "So he had made some really lousy Elvis movies."
The Presley movie will be made in Luhrmann's native Australia and has the backing of Warner Bros. It will be his first movie since 2013's The Great Gatsby and first major project since making Netflix's The Get Down.0comments
While Hanks fans wait on the Presley movie, his next film is also a biopic. He stars as Fred Rogers in A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, which opens on Nov. 22.
Photo credit: Getty Images
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