Austin Butler has been cast as Elvis Presley in Baz Luhrmann’s new film

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A few weeks back, we heard about the casting situation of Baz Luhrmann’s new film about Elvis Presley and Colonel Tom Parker. Parker was Elvis’s longtime manager and Svengali, and Parker cheated Elvis out of millions of dollars through screwed up contracts and more. On the other side, you could argue that Elvis never would have become ELVIS without Tom Parker. The casting for Parker was easy enough for Luhrmann: he cast Tom Hanks. The drama was “who will play Elvis?” The film is mostly about their early years together, so a more youthful actor was needed. Which probably meant that my #1 choice, Miles Teller, was out. While Miles is only 32 years old, his looks easily veer towards “older.” So who amongst the younger actors would be plucked from the shortlist? Ansel Elgort? Harry Styles? Aaron Taylor Johnson? Nope. Austin Butler won the role. WHO? Vanessa Hudgens’ boyfriend. WHO? That guy, Austin Butler.

Austin Butler is Baz Luhrmann’s man. The famed Moulin Rouge! director has cast the 27-year-old actor to play Elvis Presley in his upcoming movie, which will follow the late icon’s rise to stardom and his close relationship with his manager. Tom Hanks will play the manager, Col. Tom Parker, who had control over all aspects of Presley’s life. Butler is an actor on the rise who will soon be seen opposite Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. He’s currently starring in The Dead Don’t Die, opposite Bill Murray and Selena Gomez, which is now in theaters.

“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 provided to The Hollywood Reporter. “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 standout 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.”

[From People]

I mean… of course, if you just look at him, you can see that there’s some Elvis in Austin Butler. The lips which almost part in a half-snarl, the hair which looks great in a pompadour, the pretty blue eyes. But I’m still sort of disappointed. It just feels like Austin Butler would have been the choice if this was a Lifetime movie or a Hulu movie. I had higher expectations for a Baz Luhrmann feature film.

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Photos courtesy of WENN.

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25 Responses to “Austin Butler has been cast as Elvis Presley in Baz Luhrmann’s new film”

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  1. Prissa says:

    Great casting choice. He has the striking blue eyes, full lips and round face. Looking forward to this 🙂

  2. Gutterflower says:

    Ya he’s got the look for sure

  3. Patty says:

    He’s actually a really good actor and I think it’s better that he’s not super famous or well known – and I didn’t know he was dating Vanessa Hudgens until this post.

  4. Toot says:

    He looks alot like Elvis since his hair is dyed now. He’s an alright actor, and I think he sings too.

  5. minx says:

    Oh much better than Ansel Elgort.

  6. Snazzy says:

    As long as it’s not Miles Teller or Ansel whatthef**k, I’m good. I cannot stand those two

  7. Miles says:

    No Miles Teller or Ansel i.e. two potato faces? Fantastic news.

    • Sabrina says:

      I agree. I really dislike the two of them so I’m glad that the role went to someone more unknown.

  8. Dorothy#1 says:

    I’m glad he picked someone Ive never heard of! I get sick of the same 7 young actors.

  9. Steph says:

    I’ve never seen him in anything and only know of him because he gets pap’d a lot with Vanessa. I’m rooting for him though because it’s nice to see a new face get picked for a big role.

  10. Daisy says:

    Not surprised Baz picked the less known among them. But all I can think of when I see Austin’s face is Zoey 101.
    Eh can’t say I’m excited given Elvis’ racist tendencies and the whole Priscilla thing and her being 14 years old.

    • Diplomanatee says:

      Oh, the whole Priscilla thing is just the tip of the iceberg, sadly. We’ll see if this movie brings any of that to light or if the opposite happens, that these things are kept even more hush-hush.

      As a fan of his music (because I’m choosing to separate the art from the person in this case), I’m more of a fan of the “what could have been”… you know, if Col. Parker and the yes men hadn’t happened. Sure, they made him big, but they also limited him artistically, encouraged his addictions to control him, and turned him into the tacky and kitschy Elvis we know today.

      Before he was “discovered”, he was very experimental with his music, and was pretty innovative with studio effects. He could have turned into a killer producer. An inclusive one, to boot.

  11. ds says:

    my choice would have been tye sheridan. that’s all. i usually guess well in these games this time my casting mojo was totally off.

  12. launicaangelina says:

    I think he’s a great choice! I’m looking forward to his portrayal. I remember him from The Carrie Diaries, which I once binged on Netflix a few years ago.

  13. Lowrider says:

    Oh dear.

    Maybe I should not judge since I have not viewed Austin’s acting skills. But I will judge based on looks and there’s not even a slight resemblance.

  14. Mom2two says:

    Don’t know much about Austin Butler but thankfully it was him and not Miles or Ansel.

  15. Mrs. Peel says:

    I’d have gone with “Kyle” from Y&R – he looks very Elvis-esque.

  16. Bobafelty says:

    hopefully he’s more charismatic on film than in still picks?

  17. h3Rh1GHN3SS says:

    I became a lustful fan of his watching him in the shannara chronicles… hot cast and elves, magic, mages cant wait for the next season!

  18. Dee Kay says:

    Will Baz Luhrmann be a good director for this? Yes, R+J and Moulin Rouge were good, and I know Strictly Ballroom has lots of fans, but Australia was dreck, and I hated his Gatsby. Maybe the fact that this will be a musical (or at least have a lot of music in it) will play more to Luhrmann’s strengths. I thought the very worst part of Gatsby was the cast — Gatsby and Daisy were horribly miscast (though they probably couldn’t get the movie made w/o di Caprio signing on) — so I hope this Elvis biopic isn’t similarly horribly miscast. I also wonder if they’ll skirt the whole Priscilla thing altogether.

  19. otaku fairy... says:

    He’s cute.

    • Ms single malt says:

      Loved him in Carrie Diaries. And he reminded me of Brad Pitt in Thelma and Louise when I saw him in The Dead Don’t Die. I am happy with choice.