This week, the red carpet is being rolled out across the country as director/producer/writer Baz Luhrmann, as well as stars Austin Butler, Olivia DeJonge, and Tom Hanks grace our shores for the Australian premiere of the Elvis Presley biopic, Elvis. Austin plays Presley, while Tom Hanks plays his shrewd business manager, Tom “The Colonel” Parker, and Olivia plays Priscilla, Elvis’s wife. Costume designer and wife of the director Baz Luhrmann, Catherine Martin reportedly had said she had designed more than 9,000 costumes for the film, 90 of which were for Austin.
The film has already caused a buzz. The Presley family has warmly praised it and industry insiders are hinting it could sweep the nominations at next year’s Oscars. Many who had attended the premieres around the nation were dressed in Elvis-like attire, ranging from the famous black leather suit he had worn at his 1968 Comeback special or the white jumpsuit he sported at his Aloha from Hawaii concert.
It may have been 45 years since ‘The King’ had died, but his legacy in Australia is alive and well.
For decades there have been Elvis trivia nights as well as a booming Elvis impersonator industry. Recently, Elvis fan street art has already started popping up around the city of Gold Coast where the biopic was filmed and in regional Victoria and created in partnership with Graceland is Elvis: Direct from Graceland Exhibition at the Bendigo Art Gallery. The movie was filmed entirely on the Gold Coast in Australia. Production began in January 2020 and was briefly halted when Tom Hanks and some of the crew tested positive for COVID-19.
The movie is set to open in cinemas on 23 June.
By Jake Freeman