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Baz Luhrmann’s ‘Elvis’ Will Hold Its Australian Premiere on the Gold Coast

austin butler elvis presley

It feels like it’s been a lifetime in the making but the long-awaited Elvis Presley biopic from acclaimed Aussie director Baz Luhrmann is inching closer to its premiere.

The film is now set to premiere at the Cannes Film Festival in May, with Luhrmann and the cast attending as key guests.

Luhrmann is currently the only director to have opened the Cannes Film Festival twice in his career, with Moulin Rouge! in 2001 and The Great Gatsby in 2013.

Following the film’s Cannes premiere, Elvis will make its Australian debut on the Gold Coast, where the majority of the film was shot and produced.

The Australian premiere, which will take place at Event Cinemas at Pacific Fair on Saturday, June 4th, will have Luhrmann in attendance, alongside stars Austin Butler and Olivia DeJonge and many of the film’s Australian cast and crew.

“There’s simply no way we could premiere this film anywhere else in Australia but the Gold Coast; or as we have come to know it, ‘The Goldie’,” Luhrmann said in a statement. “Not only did we shoot the film there, but with the support of local council and government, we were able to complete almost all the post-production there as well.”

He continued: “My entire creative team, our families and I have developed a true love of and deep relationship with the emerging energy and creative spirit of The Goldie.”

Luhrmann went on to say that he has come to think of the Gold Coast “as a new creative home”.

“I’ve been quoted saying, and will continue to say, that I would recommend to any filmmaker in the world to come to this exciting place,” he said. “The Gold Coast is bursting with the energy, creativity, good food and great people essential to making a movie.”

In the first official trailer released for the film — which suffered several COVID related setbacks early on in the pandemic — Butler is transformed into Elvis Presley, aka the King of Rock and Roll alongside Tom Hanks who stars as Colonel Tom Parker.

The film explores the life and music of Presley, seen through the prism of his complicated relationship with Parker who was his manager. The story delves into the complex dynamic between the pair 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 — played by Aussie actress DeJonge.

30-year-old Butler can be heard singing in the trailer (yep, that’s really his voice) and has previously spoken of the huge responsibility involved in portraying one of the most significant and beloved artists in music history.

“When I began the process, I set out to get my voice to be identical. That instills fear. So that got the fire burning,” Butler said during a virtual press conference to promote the film. “For a year before we started shooting, I was doing voice coaching.”

While Butler solely voices the younger Elvis in the film, older Elvis is brought to life by way of a mixture of the young actor and tapes of the Memphis born singer.

“I watched as much as I could, over and over,” Butler said of his preparation for the role. “I feel such a responsibility to Elvis and to [ex-wife] Priscilla and [daughter] Lisa Marie, and all the people around the world who love him so much.”

During his career, Elvis recorded 24 studio albums and nine live albums, winning three Grammy Awards out of 14 nominations. He also starred in 31 movies and had 18 number one hits in the US. The legendary singer has been streamed over one billion times on Spotify with his most-streamed song being Can’t Help Falling in Love. That track alone has racked up over 90 million streams and his music averages more than 9.9 million listeners monthly.

Elvis passed away at the age of 42, on August 16, 1977. Each year, over 500,000 people make the pilgrimage to his Graceland estate in Memphis to pay respects to one of the most intriguing cultural icons of our time.

Elvis will be in HOYTS Cinemas from June 23, 2022. Watch the trailer below.

Keen to find out what other biopics are in the works? Read this next: A Beginner’s Guide to the Many (Many) Biopics We Can’t Wait to Watch

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