If there’s one thing Australian director Baz Luhrmann is known for, it’s an impeccable sense of style, which he has applied to Shakespeare (Romeo + Juliet), jukebox musicals (Moulin Rouge), and F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby). Now, he sets his sights on telling the story of a singular American icon in a musical biopic simply and appropriately titled Elvis. Austin Butler portrays the King of Rock and Roll as the film traces his rise to fame and his complicated relationship with his manager, Colonel Tom Parker, played by Tom Hanks. Ahead of the film’s release, RT editor Jacqueline Coley sat down with Luhrmann, Butler, and co-star Olivia DeJonge (Priscilla Presley) to talk about their process in bringing the story to life. They discuss the superhero-like quality of Elvis’ persona, the raw sex appeal he brought to mainstream pop culture, and the challenge of portraying real people.
Elvis opens everywhere on Friday, June 24.