Elvis director Baz Luhrmann teased a "special announcement" on Instagram on Sept. 30, getting fans excited for the potential release of the four-hour cut that the Moulin Rogue! filmmaker has spoken about in the past. Unfortunately, the announcement was not that exciting. Luhrmann recently said he was too "tired" to finish work on an extended version of the hit Elvis Presley biopic.
Luhmann shared some behind-the-scenes footage of Austin Butler getting ready to film the Comeback Special scenes on Sept. 30. "'Rehearsal Rehearsal Rehearsal'...oh and a special announcement tonight," Luhrmann wrote. His post was inundated with demands for the four-hour cut.
In his next Instagram post, he shared the news. The Elvis soundtrack on vinyl is now available for pre-order before its release in November. Luhrmann forgot to mention where the record is available for pre-order though. He did thank fans for the ongoing support for the film, which is still in theaters despite already being available to stream on HBO Max and on home video.
Elvis already runs 159 minutes, but fans hoping to see more of Butler's transformation into the King of Rock and Roll have been holding itching for the longer cut to be released. In June, Luhrmann told Radio Times there is a four-hour version, but he had to cut it down to just over two and a half hours. In September, Luhrmann told ScreenRant he was open to releasing this version, but it might take some time. He said this version of the film might not come out for a few years.
"Not now, and not probably next year. But I don't close my mind to the idea that in the future, there might be a way of exploring another [cut]," the director told ScreenRant. "I've got to be really careful here because the moment I put it out there... I tell you what, all my tweets are nothing but, 'We want the four-hour version! We want the four-hour version!' I think people are at my gates with pitchforks saying, 'We want the four-hour version!'"
Luhrmann believes Elvis has done well enough for the longer version to be released. However, he still needs a green light from Warner Bros. Discovery to get the money to finish it. As it stands now, there is still some post-production work to do.
"Because it isn't just like I've got it, and you just put it out there. Every minute in post-production, you have to do visual effects, grading, cutting, refining, and ADR sound," Luhrmann explained. "It's not like it's just sitting there finished, and I can just push a button and it comes out. You'd have to get back in and work on it. To do an extended cut, you'd be working on it for another four or six months something. I'm not closed to it, but not now. I'm a little bit on the tired side."
As for what was cut, Luhrmann told Radio Times he dropped a scene showing Presley's famous meeting with President Richard Nixon. There were also scenes with Presley's first girlfriend and his band that did not make the theatrical version. "You know, the addiction to barbiturates and all of that, like what happens is he starts doing wackadoo things – like going down to see Nixon," Luhrmann said in June. "I had it in there for a while but there just comes a point where you can't have everything in, so I just tried to track the spirit of the character."