EXCLUSIVE: Baz Luhrmann has recorded “Sunscreen,” a new pandemic-relevant version of “Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen),” his 1998 spoken-word song that featured a common sense essay written as a hypothetical commencement speech by Mary Schmich of the Chicago Tribune, with advice on how to live a happy, healthy life. Luhrmann this time sets to music mostly to the inspiring speech given recently by Queen Elizabeth II, which gave the pandemic a historical perspective on overcoming crises going back to WWII.
Luhrmann was struck by that speech and felt it was an exception to the lack of straight-shooting words of comfort in these times. He got together with his music team over Zoom last weekend and made the remix with the Queen’s speech and Vera Lynn’s “We’ll Meet Again.” If enough people from all walks of life send Luhrmann a video of themselves singing to it — the place to send is firstname.lastname@example.org — the Moulin Rouge director will cut a video from that, in an effort to spread a little community and joy.
Luhrmann expected to not be preoccupied with the Queen, but rather the King, as in Elvis Presley. He was about to start production on that untitled film in Australia for Warner Bros, with Austin Butler playing the singer. Tom Hanks, who plays Presley mentor/manager Col. Tom Parker, was in Australia when he shocked the world and came down with the coronavirus, which Deadline exclusively revealed March 11.
The original “Sunscreen” hit No. 1 in Ireland and the UK, and this one might just catch on, possibly adding rock star aura to the venerable monarch. And hopefully soon, Luhrmann can get back to The King. Below is the new version of Sunscreen, and below that the original.
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by Vika Bull, Quindon Tarver, Lee Perry, and her majesty Queen Elizabeth II Put this together with friends in the hope that it might brighten somebody’s day. Sing, dance, create anything on video, upload and tag it, or send me a link at email@example.com. We’ll create something together and #WellMeetAgain2020