Entertainment

Austin Butler to Play Elvis in Upcoming Movie, Tom Hanks to Co-Star

This combination photo shows singer-actor Elvis Presley in a 1964 photo, left, and actor Austin Butler at the premiere of "The Dead Don't Die" in New York on June 10, 2019. Butler has been cast to portray Presley in the upcoming biopic by director Baz Luhrmann. Production is to begin early next year. Tom Hanks co-stars as Presley’s manager Colonel Tom Parker. (AP Photo)

Director and co-writer Baz Luhrmann has found his ideal actor for his forthcoming Elvis Presley biopic: 27-year-old television star turned Broadway actor Austin Butler.

Butler, a star of TV's The Carrie Diaries and The Shannara Chronicles and a recurring character in Arrow, will portray the King of Rock 'n' Roll from his country music and rockabilly roots to a previously unseen level of global celebrity. Co-star Tom Hanks will portray Col. Tom Parker, an influential player in the careers of Presley and country legends Eddy Arnold and Hank Snow.

Butler won the sought-after role over such stars as real-life pop heartthrob Harry Styles.

Read More: Why Country Music Loves Elvis Presley

"I knew I couldn't make this film if the casting wasn't absolutely right, and we searched thoroughly for an actor with the ability to evoke the singular natural movement and vocal qualities of this peerless star, but also the inner vulnerability of the artist," Luhrmann says in a statement to Deadline. "Throughout the casting process, it was an honor for me to encounter such a vast array of talent. I had heard about Austin Butler from his stand-out role opposite Denzel Washington in The Iceman Cometh on Broadway, and through a journey of extensive screen testing and music and performance workshops, I knew unequivocally that I had found someone who could embody the spirit of one of the world's most iconic musical figures."

Young Elvis' big-screen chops can be seen this summer alongside Sturgill Simpson in The Dead Don't Die and in the upcoming Quentin Tarantino film Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

The still-unnamed movie will be filmed next year in Queensland, Australia. Warner Brothers will handle worldwide distribution.

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Austin Butler to Play Elvis in Upcoming Movie, Tom Hanks to Co-Star