Just before the first lockdown last year, Moulin Rouge! director Baz Luhrmann was rehearsing a Las Vegas residency scene for his Elvis Presley biopic. The King star Austin Butler and Colonel Tom Parker co-lead Tom Hanks were getting ready to shoot on the Queensland, Australia set. That was until the Forrest Gump star became the first A-lister to contract coronavirus, sending the Warner Bros production into shutdown.
After months of delays, production on the Elvis movie resumed in the autumn although Vernon and Gladys Presley stars Rufus Sewell and Maggie Gyllenhaal had to drop out due to other commitments.
Instead, they’ll now be played by Moulin Rouge’s Duke star Richard Roxburgh and theatre actress Helen Thomson.
Back in September, Baz briefly shared a couple of set photos, while wearing a TCB mask representing Elvis’ famous catchphrase and the name of his band “Taking Care of Business.”
The director wrote on his Instagram at the time: “Welcome back cast and crew. Taking care of Business in the wonderful State of Queensland.”
READ MORE: Elvis movie: Tom Hanks unveils ‘horrible’ first look at Colonel Parker
While this week, Baz has shared the intermission sign from his Red Curtain Trilogy, Strictly Ballroom, Romeo + Juliet and Moulin Rouge!
The 58-year-old wrote: ”Consumed with the film at the moment, thought it was the right time for a short intermission.”
Clearly, the director is in the depths of working out how best to bring Elvis’ incredible life and career to the big screen.
No doubt this adaptation will be just as stylised and theatrical as Baz’s other outings.
The 29-year-old Butler most recently played Tex Watson in Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon A Time In Hollywood.
The American actor and singer was spotted over the last couple of years with jet black hair in a similar shape to Elvis’ hair, ready for the role.
He famously beat the likes of Harry Styles, Miles Teller, Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Ansel Elgort to the role, after they all tested for playing The King.
Meanwhile, Hanks has shaved his head bald to play Elvis’ manager The Colonel.
During an interview on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Hanks shared how he had a meal with Elvis’ ex-wife Priscilla Presley who defended The Colonel’s reputation.
She told the star: “No. He was a wonderful man, and I wish he was alive today. He took really great care of us. He was a scoundrel in his way.”
According to the official synopsis, Elvis is “seen through the prism of [Presley’s] complicated relationship with his enigmatic manager, Colonel Tom Parker. The film delves into the complex dynamic between Presley and Parker spanning over 20 years, from Presley’s rise to fame to his unprecedented stardom, against the backdrop of the evolving cultural landscape and loss of innocence in America. Central to that journey is one of the most significant and influential people in Elvis’s life, Priscilla Presley.”
Elvis is released in cinemas and on HBO Max on November 5, 2021.