Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis: Priscilla Presley Reveals What King of Rock Would Think of Austin Butler

One of the most buzzworthy dramas of this year might have been Elvis, Baz Luhrmann‘s maximalist take on the life of Elvis Presley. The film has largely been a hit thanks to the performance of Austin Butler in the titular role, with the actor already garnering awards attention for his portrayal. In a recent interview with Deadline, Luhrmann spoke about one unique component of the film’s success — a ringing endorsement from Elvis’ widow, Priscilla Presley. As Luhrmann put it, Priscilla Presley wrote him a letter after watching the film, in which she shared what she believes Elvia would have thought of Butler’s performance.

“I won’t share all of it,” he says, “but the key thing she said was, ‘My whole life I’ve had to put up with people impersonating my husband, and I don’t know how that boy did it, but every move, every wink… If my husband was here, he’d say, ‘Hot damn, you are me.'”

Will there be an extended cut of Elvis?

As Luhrmann explained to ScreenRant earlier this year, a longer cut of Elvis could eventually arrive — but after he takes a small break from the project.

“Not now, and not probably next year,” Luhrmann explained. “But I don’t close my mind to the idea that in the future, there might be a way of exploring another [cut]. I’ve got to be really careful here, because the moment I put it out there… I tell you what, all my tweets are nothing but, ‘We want the four-hour version! We want the four-hour version!’ I think people are at my gates with pitchforks saying, ‘We want the four-hour version!’ But I don’t close my mind to the idea that there would be an extended cut. Right now, with how long it’s stayed in the theaters and how well it’s done, it’s crossed the line. But it’s done so well on HBO Max over the weekend, so it’s about the parent company going, ‘Wow, it’s really worth spending the money.'”

“Because it isn’t just like I’ve got it, and you just put it out there,” Luhrmann continued. “Every minute in post-production, you have to do visual effects, grading, cutting, refining, and ADR sound. It’s not like it’s just sitting there finished, and I can just push a button and it comes out. You’d have to get back in and work on it. To do an extended cut, you’d be working on it for another four or six months something. I’m not closed to it, but not now. I’m a little bit on the tired side.”

What is Elvis about?

Elvis 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).

The cast of Elvis also includes Dacre Montgomery, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Luke Bracey, and Shonka Dukureh.


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