Elvis is the Original Superhero, Says Director Baz Lurhmann

Posted 2022/04/27 8 0


Elvis director Baz Lurhmann has offered some insight into his approach to telling the story of the King of Rock and Roll, describing it as a “superhero film.” While appearing at CinemaCon 2022, Lurhmann called Elvis Presley the “original superhero,” likening his climb to the top and the trials and tribulations therein to the journey of a Marvel or DC character.

“You will hear the classics. You will see the story of Elvis, but we’ve also translated that for a younger generation. You know, while I was looking at that little reel and I’m thinking it feels a bit like a superhero film. It is because I actually Elvis is kind of the original superhero. And I mean that he comes from dirt, and in a few blinding moments, he rises so high, he finds his kryptonite, and also love. And then a beautiful, powerful tragedy ensues.”

Due for release later this year, Elvis chronicles the life and career of singer and actor Elvis Presley (Austin Butler), beginning the tale from his early days as a child to becoming a rock and roll and movie star. The movie will center on his complex relationship with his manager Colonel Tom Parker, played by Tom Hanks. However, Baz Lurhmann has told movie-goers that Elvis is no standard biopic and will instead use the story of Elvis to make a wider point about America.

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“I love biopics, but this is not really a biopic, right? It’s really about, for me, America in the 50s and the 60s and the 70s. And if you want to talk about America in the 50s and 60s and the 70s at the center of culture, for the good, the bad and the ugly, is a figure [like] Elvis Presley. Like how Shakespeare would take a historical figure like a king and explore a big theme, or Amadeus isn’t really about Mozart when you learn so much about Mozart, it’s about jealousy. What this movie is about is America in those three epochs — Elvis the rebel, Elvis the highest paid actor in Hollywood, and Elvis the living legend, the icon trapped in that hotel not 10 minutes from here, by a man called Colonel Tom Parker.”

Elvis Will Still Be the Central Figure Amid Baz Lurhmann’s Aspirations

Despite Lurhmann’s aspirations for Elvis, the director went on to assure fans that Elvis Presley will still sit at the center of the movie. “But Elvis is at the center of it,” he continued. “And, you know, I really wanted to also explore this tension these two great American things, I absolutely love them. And it’s what defines I think the new of America you know, the fact that can bring all these all these different elements together and create something new that’s the artistic gesture, the invention, the inventiveness.”

Starring Austin Butler, Tom Hanks, Helen Thomson, Richard Roxburgh, Olivia DeJonge, Luke Bracey, Natasha Bassett, David Wenham, Kelvin Harrison Jr., Xavier Samuel, and Kodi Smit-McPhee, Elvis will have its world premiere at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival, and is scheduled for a theatrical release on June 24, 2022, by Warner Bros. Pictures.

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