The first trailer for Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis biopic has been released, which gives us our first look at Austin Butler’s Elvis Presley and our first chance to hear his singing voice. It also reveals Tom Hanks as Elvis’ infamous manager Colonel Tom Parker, who is also the narrator of the tale. The movie – which is simply called Elvis – will be released on June 24, 2022.
The trailer begins with Hanks’ narration saying; “There are some who’d make me out to be the villain of this here story.” We then see shots of Elvis as a child and the narration continues; “Are you born with destiny? Or does it just come knocking at your door?”
We then see Elvis – in a pink suit – being introduced on stage as “A young singer from Memphis, Tennessee.” He is heckled by a man telling him to get a haircut. The voiceover continues; “In that moment, I watched that skinny boy transform into a superhero. He was my destiny.” We hear Butler busting out the first note of “Be Bop a Lula” and see his signature jerky dance moves…and gradually the girls in the audience start to scream.
The rest of the trailer is a whistle-stop tour through Elvis’ life and career – through the sparkly jumpsuits and marriage to Priscilla – and it ends with the Colonel saying; “We are the same, you and I. We are two odd, lonely children reaching for eternity.”
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Butler says; “When I began the process, I set out to get my voice to be identical. That instills fear. So that got the fire burning. For a year before we started shooting, I was doing voice coaching.” Luhrmann made it clear that the film features Butler’s voice for young Elvis and a blend of the Butler and tapes of Presley for midlife Elvis.
“I watched as much as I could, over and over,” Butler said of studying the abundance of Presley’s films and concerts. “I feel such a responsibility to Elvis and to Priscilla and (their daughter) Lisa Marie, and all the people around the world who love him so much.”
You can watch the trailer here;
Elvis took more than two years to make due to the pandemic. Star Tom Hanks made international headlines in March 2020 when he became one of the first major stars to announce they had contracted coronavirus, which occurred during the Elvis production in Luhrmann’s native Australia.
Lurhmann is best known for his Red Curtain Trilogy, comprised of Strictly Ballroom, Romeo + Juliet and Moulin Rouge. He also made the epic Australia with Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman, and an adaptation of The Great Gatsby starring Leonardo DiCaprio.
While we wait for Elvis to enter the building, check out our guide to the best musicals.