The first trailer from Baz Luhrmann's hotly-anticipated upcoming film Elvis has been released.
The film stars Austin Butler as Elvis Presley and Tom Hanks as his manager, Colonel Tom Parker, and tells the story of Presley's rise to stardom over a course of 20 years, set against a backdrop of great social change in America.
"There are musical icons in my life that are so important to me," the Oscar-winning Luhrmann tells The AU Review (opens in new tab). I was always a fan of Elvis, but I don’t know if that fanhood in any way was the reason why, all these years later, I wanted to do (this film).
"Truth is, in this modern era, the life of Elvis Presley could not be a better canvas on which to explore America in the 50s, the 60s and the 70s. It’s a mythical life that he lived. That’s what drew me in. That and a character named Colonel Tom Parker."
The film, which was shot in Queensland, Australia, took three years to come to fruition, a time Butler used to perfect his mimicry of Presley's voice.
"I think when I began the process of this I set out to make my voice identical to his," he says. "That was my goal, that if you heard a recording of him and heard a recording of me, you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference. I held that for a long time.
"What that does is also instils this fear that I won’t be able to achieve that, so that burned the fire inside me to work and work. I think maybe a year before we started shooting it was six-to-seven days a week of voice coaching and working with the right experts and getting my register in the right place."
Luhrmann's other films include Strictly Ballroom, Romeo + Juliet and Moulin Rouge! Elvis will be coming to cinemas on June 23.