High School Musical star Vanessa Hudgens had a big reason to celebrate on Monday. Her boyfriend, actor Austin Butler, was cast as Elvis Presley in Baz Lurhmann's upcoming biopic. The new film will also star Tom Hanks as Presley's manager, Colonel Tom Parker.
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Hudgens shared a screenshot of Deadline's report on Butler's casting Monday. "I AMMMM OVERRRR THE F– MOOOOOOOOONNNNN. I CANT WAIT [heart-eyes emojis] SO PROUD OF MY HONEYYYYY!!!" Hudgens added in the caption.
Butler's casting as the King of Rock 'n' Roll was announced Monday morning. Luhrmann made the decision after also considering Ansel Elgort, Harry Styles and Miles Teller for the role. Ultimately, the Moulin Rouge! filmmaker went with the least famous of the four.
The Presley movie, which still does not have a title, will be a breakout role for Butler. This year, he appeared in The Dead Don't Die and has a supporting part in Quentin Tarantino's upcoming Once Upon A Time in Hollywood. Butler also starred in The CW's Sex and the City prequel series The Carrie Diaries and had a three-episode arc on Arrow.
Butler's other credits include The Shannara Chronicles, Switched at Birth, Life Unexpected, Zoey 101 and Ruby & The Rockits. He also earned good reviews for his performance in the 2018 Broadway production of Eugene O'Neill's The Iceman Cometh.
“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 said 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.”
Luhrmann will be directing the film, his first since 2013's The Great Gatsby, and is writing with Craig Pearce. He plans to shoot the film in his native Australia with Warner Bros. distributing.
The movie will trace Presley's relationship with Parker, who helped make Presley the first music sensation of his kind in the 1950s, playing out in front of an ever-changing cultural landscape. There is no release date for the film yet.
Hudgens, 30, and Butler, 27, have been dating since 2011.
“Just communication, communication is key,” Hudgens told PEOPLE about keeping their relationship together, even when they were working far apart in 2017. “I think that if anything’s bothering you, don’t hold it in. Always bring it up and just talk about it. Uncensor yourself and just be open.”
Hudgens recently finished work on Bad Boys for Life, which opens on Jan. 17, 2020.
Photo credit: David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images