Elvis Director Reveals Why He Rejected Harry Styles

By Matthew Creith | 2 weeks ago

elvis biopic

With the upcoming release of Elvis later this month, director Baz Luhrmann has been busy promoting the film. Luhrmann, best known for his films Strictly Ballroom, Moulin Rouge, and The Great Gatsby has been seen by many as a controversial choice to direct the biographical film about Elvis Presley’s life, but like most of Luhrmann’s films, this one is sure to be an epic event, to say the least. Recently, the Australian director was interviewed about the making of the film about the King of Rock and Roll, and he may have said some surprising words about the casting choices he made for the movie.

The trailer for Elvis shows Austin Butler in the titular role of Elvis Presley, with Tom Hanks embodying the real-life manager, Colonel Tom Parker. Baz Luhrmann had auditioned several young actors to play Elvis, including English singer Harry Styles. As reported by Variety, Styles didn’t get the part because the director saw him as too famous and that his icon status would overshadow the role as a wfhole. Speaking to Fitzy and Wippa, Luhrmann went on to say that Styles “was just desperate to put the suit on and explore. He’s such a great spirit and I have nothing but great things to say about Harry Styles.”

Austin Butler ended up nabbing the role of Elvis in the biopic, largely because of a personal connection he shared with the legendary hip thruster. When we reported about the Elvis actor’s casting previously, it was noted that Butler’s own mother and Elvis’s mother died when both men were 23 years old, a detail he shared in his audition video sent to Baz Luhrmann. This characteristic may have featured largely in the director’s decision to cast Butler in the role, even though Harry Styles was apparently heavily considered as well. Due to Styles’ own fame and Butler not necessarily being a household name yet, Butler secured the role and audiences will soon see how he does in the musical drama.

Not to worry about Harry Styles not getting the part of his dreams in Elvis, though. The budding actor will soon be seen in several high-profile projects, according to his IMDB page. Audiences and fans will soon see Styles portray Jack alongside Florence Pugh in girlfriend Olivia Wilde’s new directorial effort Don’t Worry Darling, which will be released in theaters on September 23, 2022. Next up, Styles will costar with Rupert Everett and Linus Roache in director Michael Grandage’s My Policeman, based on the novel of the same name by Bethan Roberts. It has also been rumored that Styles will star in Faster, Cheaper, Better, a film written and directed by Dan Gilroy of Nightcrawler fame, but the film is still under development and casting may change.

As for Elvis, the recent premiere at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival would have viewers believe the movie could be a hit for Baz Luhrmann, Tom Hanks, and Austin Butler. With a budget of $200 million, the 2-hour and 39-minute film received a reported 10-minute standing ovation at the film festival, as described by Deadline. It appears the movie may be on its way to Oscar season after it opens in theaters on June 24th.