With hope it can hit the heights of recent biographical musical dramas such as Walk The Line and Bohemian Rhapsody, Baz Luhrmann’s ‘Elvis’ launches in cinemas this coming week as he attempts to chronicle the life and career of one the of the globe’s most iconic singers, actor and heart-throb Elvis ‘The King’ Presley.
The film, which has a runtime of well over two hours, will delve into the early career of the star as a child, and detail his journey into becoming a rock and roll star and movie superstar, as well as his complex relationship with his manager Colonel Tom Parker.
Anticipation for the film was already high but, following positive critic reviews and a glowing response to its premiere at Cannes Film Festival last month, many fans of the singer are now champing at the bit to see how Austin Butler portrays the role of hip shakin’, hound dog Elvis.
Brought to the big screen by Oscar nominated director Luhrmann, viewers can expect his trademark directing style, which often includes flamboyant, lavish productions, gorgeous golden colour schemes, and emphasis on heightened reality.
One of cinema’s most celebrated director, the Australian has won a total of four Australian Academy Awards, two British Academy Film Awards, alongside a Tony and a Golden Globe Award.
Who is in the cast of Elvis?
Austin Butler takes the lead of role as ‘The King’, with 30-year-old Californian already receiving critical acclaim for his role as the iconic singer.
The legendary Tom Hanks is perhaps the biggest star in the film, starring as Col. Tom Parker – Elvis' manager.
Elsewhere, Helen Thomson (A Place to Call Home) is Gladys Presley, Elvis' mother, while Richard Roxburgh (Van Helsing) is Vernon Presley, Elvis' father. Olivia DeJonge (The Society) will portray the wife of Elvis, Priscilla Presley.
There are also confirmed roles for Luke Bracey, Natasha Bassett, David Wenham, Christopher Sommers and Kelvin Harrison Jr., who will portray B.B. King.
What is the runtime of the Elvis film?
Like many of Luhrmann’s films, Elvis is over two hours, with the biopic set to be a real epic that will document the life and times of the singer, actor and global phenomenon. The film will last a total of 159 minutes and will be given a wide release.
What is the age rating of the Elvis film?
Elvis has been handed a 12A by the BBFC, due to drug misuse, discrimination, sex references, injury detail, strong language.
When is the Elvis film released in UK cinemas?
Elvis had its world premiere at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival on May 25, 2022, where it received a twelve-minute standing ovation from the audience, the longest for an American film at the festival. It has been given a release in Luhrmann’s native Australia and the USA on June 23.
The film will be officially released in UK cinemas on June 24.
Elvis – what are the latest reviews saying?
Perhaps surprisingly, the early reviews of the new Elvis film are varied, with plenty of good – and bad – reviews of the film
Rotten Tomatoes currently have it ranked at 79%, which is not to be grumbled at. The ranking means the movie is currently ‘certified fresh’ – however, a delve into some of the earliest reviews of the film indicate a large fluctuation in opinions.
One of the world’s top movie critics The Playlist had Charles Bramesco review the film, and he wasn’t impressed, saying: “Raw, gyrating machismo turned Elvis into a god with the power to bring teenyboppers to instantaneous orgasm with a swing of the hips. Under Luhrmann's unthrottled tutelage, that overwhelming dynamo of charisma is made merely loud.”
However, Anna Smith from The Metro gave it a 3/5 and a generally positive review, which said: “What happens when the director of Moulin Rouge! makes a film about Elvis? A lot of shake, rattle and razzmatazz.”
TimeOut’s Philip De Semlyen was far more in praise of the movie though and, in particular, Austin Butler’s performance as The King, saying: “When Austin Butler shakes his hips in Elvis’s first gig as a full-blown rock ‘n’ roller, it’s like watching two stars being born.”
So – it looks like you’ll just have to go to the cinema and find out for yourself!