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The hype around the newest musical biopic Elvis has been mounting for literal years. Baz Luhrmann, an Australian director most known for his films Romeo + Juliet, Moulin Rouge!, and The Great Gatsby, first expressed interest in the project in 2014, and by 2019, Elvis as we know it was officially announced.
The cast is pretty legendary too. Tom Hanks was the first to be cast in the role of Colonel Tom Parker (Elvis’s manager), and Austin Butler, whose performance has already received critical acclaim, is said to have beaten out Ansel Elgort, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Miles Teller, and Harry Styles for the titular role.
The rumors and stories about the Elvis casting process are almost hard to keep up with because there are so many. Apparently, Harry threw his hat in the ring via a video of himself singing “Unchained Melody,” but Austin got a stamp of approval from Denzel Washington, who called Luhrmann personally. It was a tight race, to say the least—ultimately, Harry was already the icon that is Harry Styles, but Austin was Elvis Presley.
In May 2022, Austin and Priscilla Presley walked the Met Gala red carpet together. Also in May, the film’s companion soundtrack was announced, featuring tracks from Doja Cat, Kacey Musgraves, Måneskin, Eminem, Denzel Curry, Stevie Nicks, Jack White, and Diplo. In June, Lisa Marie Presley and Riley Keough sat down with ABC News for a special-edition episode of 20/20 titled “Exclusively Elvis,” where they celebrated the new film and the way it honors their father and grandfather.
And 17 million trailer views and 44 million streams of Doja’s “Vegas” later, Elvis is finally here.
Quick! Give me a crash course on all things Elvis before I see the film.
I gotchu, bb. Elvis Presley, nicknamed the King of Rock and Roll, is a bona fide musical icon whose career ushered in American pop culture as we know it today. The national attention that accompanied Elvis’s rise to fame, combined with his resonance among young listeners, made him both a cultural and musical icon.
But in recent years, claims that Elvis invented rock and roll have been debunked, and rightfully so. Notable rock performers that came before the King include Ike Turner, Ray Charles, and Big Mama Thornton. Despite ongoing debates about what Elvis did or did not invent, catalyze, popularize, or appropriate, his legacy as a rock-and-roll icon lives on in music, pop culture, and now film history.
According to Guinness World Records, Elvis Presley is the best-selling solo music artist of all time, with more than 500 million records sold. In his later years, Elvis developed infamously unhealthy eating habits and prescription drug abuse, which ultimately led to his death in 1977 at 42 years old.
Got it! So, how can I watch Elvis?
The highly anticipated film will be exclusively released in theaters. So for now, your only viewing option is IRL in a theater. You may have to actually put on a bra, but at least you get *perfect* popcorn, right? Be sure to check your local listings for where it’s showing in your area:
Even though we’re all used to getting feature films at the click of our remote now, Elvis will definitely be worth pulling up to the theater for. The new film chronicles the icon’s career beginnings, personal life, and relationship with his manager, Colonel Tom Parker. And get this: Luhrmann recently shared that he has a Four! Hour! Version! of the project, so here’s to hoping all the superfans get a streamable director’s cut.
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