- 31 Dec 20
Austin Butler is taking on the roll of The King of Rock and Roll, while Tom Hanks portrays his manager, Colonel Tom Parker.
According to Deadline, the film resumed shooting in September after a six-month production shutdown as a result of Hanks’ Covid-19 diagnosis back in March.
The 26-year-old New Orleans actor's supporting role as The King of Blues will be crucial to portraying the cultural landscape of the ’50s and beyond.
The film hopes to explore the tension between Presley and Parker throughout their 20-year relationship, and dig into the complexities of Presley’s career during a period of immense social and cultural change.
King knew Presley long before he was a public figure of any kind, meaning that Harrison Jr.’s character will be integral to the beginning of the film. Luhrmann intends to establish the significance of a white man adopting and achieving enormous amounts of success from what had previously been a black form of music.
King remained a prolific guitarist up until his death in 2015, so he may be featured throughout the entirety of the story.
The film also includes Yola as Sister Rosetta Tharpe; Olivia DeJonge as Elvis’ wife, Priscilla Presley; Rufus Sewell as Elvis’ father, Vernon Presley; and Maggie Gyllenhaal as Elvis’ mother, Gladys Presley.
Luhrmann will be co-producing the film alongside Catherine Martin, Gail Berman, Patrick McCormick, and Schuyler Weiss - with Andrew Mittman tasked with the job of executive producer.
The blues legend will be brought to life more than once this year. The Wire's Wendell Pierce is set to star in a B.B. King biopic titled The Thrill Is On for the silver screen.
King was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987, and has a reputation cemented as one of the most influential blues musicians of all time - considered one of the "Three Kings of the Blues Guitar" (along with Albert King and Freddie King).