Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis Biopic Is Casting The King

Elvis Presley

by Ben Travis |
Published on

Musicals and music biopics are huge business at the box office at the moment – and if there’s a director who was way ahead of the curve on that one, it’s Baz Luhrmann. The Australian filmmaker has had music coursing through the veins of his films going right back to Strictly Ballroom, and brought his very own original musical to the big screen with 2001’s Moulin Rouge!. Now, for his first film since his 2013 jazz-hands-aplenty take on The Great Gatsby, Luhrmann is cooking up an Elvis Presley biopic, begging the question: who exactly will play The King?

With the film reportedly focusing on a younger Elvis, it seems Kurt Russell and Bruce Campbell are out of the running here. According to The Hollywood Reporter, five actors are being tested for the lead role – and there are some big names in there.

ansel elgort

First up is Ansel Elgort – currently singing up a storm in Spielberg’s new adaptation of West Side Story. He certainly had some of that Elvis swagger in Edgar Wright’s Baby Driver too, so it’s clear why he’s being linked to this one.

Aaron Taylor Johson

Then there’s Aaron Taylor-Johnson, who’s inhabited the shoes of a musical legend on the big screen before. Back in 2009 he played a young John Lennon in Nowhere Boy, and is currently hot property having just shot Matthew Vaughn’s Kingsman prequel The King’s Man before heading on to Christopher Nolan’s Tenet.

Harry Styles
©Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty

Speaking of the Nolan connection, none other than Harry Styles is also being considered for Elvis. Dunkirk proved he has some acting ability, and he was always the most rock’n’roll-influenced member of One Direction. And hey, he can obviously sing too.

miles teller

Miles Teller is also said to be in the running – presumably depending on whether the Whiplash star can avoid rushing or dragging when performing those rockabilly classics. He’s coming off the back of Nicolas Winding Refn’s Amazon series Too Old To Die Young, and has spent this year filming Top Gun: Maverick.

Austin Butler
©Theo Wargo/Getty

Finally there’s Austin Butler – the least well-known name on the list. While he’s not a major box office draw yet, he’s having a very good 2019. This summer you can catch him in Jim Jarmusch’s zombie comedy The Dead Don’t Die, and then in Tarantino’s Once Upon A Time In Hollywood.

According to the report, the role is expected to be cast in the coming weeks – and considering the success of Bohemian Rhapsody and Rocketman, expect those all-singing-all-dancing biopics of music legends to keep on coming

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