The 2022 Oscars Best Actor race won’t be decided for another five weeks, but the 2023 Best Actor battle already has its first contender. On Thursday, Warner Bros. released the first trailer for Baz Luhrmann’s “Elvis,” the director’s biopic on singer Elvis Presley with Austin Butler as the King of Rock & Roll.
‘The great storytellers, like Shakespeare, they didn’t really do biographies. What they did was take a life and use a life as a canvas to explore a bigger idea,” Luhrmann said during a press event for the trailer (as reported by Entertainment Weekly). “The life of Elvis could not be a better canvas in which to explore America in the ‘50s and ‘60s. That life is culturally and socially at the center of the ‘50s, ‘60s, and even the ‘70s.”
Added Butler, previously best known for a small role in “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” of playing Presley, “He’s such an icon and held up to superhuman status, so to get to explore that for years now and learn why he was the way that he was and find the human within that icon, that was such a joy. I could do it for the rest of my life.”
In addition to Butler, the cast includes Tom Hanks as Presley’s manager, Colonel Tom Parker, and Maggie Gyllenhaal as Presley’s mother, Gladys. Hanks, affecting a European accent and wearing heavy prosthetics, narrates the trailer.
“Elvis” is Luhrmann’s first feature film since “The Great Gatsby” in 2013. He was nominated at the 2002 Oscars in the Best Picture category for “Moulin Rouge!”
“Elvis” is set to debut in theaters on June 22. Here’s the official synopsis from Warner Bros.:
The film explores the life and music of Elvis Presley (Butler), seen through the prism of his complicated relationship with his enigmatic manager, Colonel Tom Parker (Hanks). The story delves into the complex dynamic between Presley and Parker spanning over 20 years, from Presley’s rise to fame to his unprecedented stardom, against the backdrop of the evolving cultural landscape and loss of innocence in America. Central to that journey is one of the most significant and influential people in Elvis’s life, Priscilla Presley (Olivia DeJonge).
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