Festival attendees will get the first full-length viewing, the trailer for which was released last month. While there have been multiple documentaries made about Elvis’ life over the years, including Elvis Presley: The Searcher, produced by HBO in 2018, this is only the second dramatization of the lightning-in-a-bottle musical phenomenon. The first, Elvis, was a 1979 made-for-TV version directed by John Carpenter and starring Kurt Russell. It was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture Made for Television and three Primetime Emmy Awards.
Luhrmann’s interpretation will be told from the point of view of Colonel Tom Parker, who ruled over Elvis’ career with a heavy hand. From the looks of it, we’ll get to witness Elvis’ life from childhood to stardom as well as the effect that an astronomical level of fame can have on a person.
The cast includes Tom Hanks as Elvis’ manager Parker, Olivia DeJonge as Priscilla Presley, and Austin Butler as Elvis. Butler most recently played Tex Watson in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Quentin Tarantino’s reimagining of the Manson family clan’s activities in 1960s Hollywood. If the trailer is any indication, Butler will portray an incredibly believable iteration of Elvis, with the long-awaited portrayal of the Tennessee Troubadour brought to life by an unmistakable Luhrmann, best known for films such as Moulin Rouge! (2001), Romeo and Juliet (1996), and The Great Gatsby (2013).
Elvis will premiere at Cannes between May 17 and 28 and will receive a wide theatrical release on June 24.