Baz Luhrmann gave out a big hunk o’ love to Elvis Presley fans today. The Oscar-nominated filmmaker released the first glimpses of Austin Butler as the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll in the untitled film that arrives in the summer.
On what he’s dubbed “Elvis Monday,” Luhrmann posted context-free footage of Butler alternatively brooding and strutting. Here’s the clip that has the faithful all shook up:
— Baz Luhrmann (@bazluhrmann) November 15, 2021
The altered “Suspicious Minds” backing track is period-specific to the TCB angle Luhrmann hashtags. When Presley returned to touring in 1969, he called his band Taking Care of Business, and the songs hit No. 1 in November that year. It was the King’s first U.S. chart-topper in more than seven years.
Set against an evolving cultural landscape and loss of innocence in America, the untitled drama covers the rock legend’s growth from dirt-poor singer to global icon, seen through the prism of his complex relationship over two decades with manager Colonel Tom Parker (Tom Hanks). Presley reached a level of stardom matched only by the Beatles before his death in 1977 at 42.
Butler starred on MTV’s The Shannara Chronicles and landed the Elvis role in July 2019. Since then the actor has appeared in The Dead Don’t Die and played Manson Family member Tex Watson in Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. He’s filming a lead role in the Apple TV+ miniseries Masters of the Air, exec produced by Butler’s co-star Hanks.
Scoffing at the notion that’s it’s now or never, Warner Bros said today that it has pushed the film’s release date by three weeks from June 3 to June 24.