Elvis Presley is the king of rock ‘n’ roll, but has his story ever been done justice in Hollywood? According to the Presley family, the new Baz Luhrmann biopic finally got it right.
I just got back Sunday night from Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee, where I talked with the stars, learned all about Elvis’ pelvis, and there was some “singing,” too.
He was the king of rock ‘n’ roll.
Elvis Presley (singing): “Well, you ain’t never caught a rabbit, and you ain’t no friend of mine.”
And in “Elvis” the movie…
Austin Butler (as Elvis Presley): “I’m going to show you what the real Elvis is like tonight!”
Austin Butler could be the new prince of Hollywood.
Can somebody just hand him an Oscar already? I mean, the guy even sings in it.
Austin Butler (as Elvis Presley): “If you’re looking for trouble, you came to the right place.”
Austin Butler: “It was the privilege of my life, truly. Like, I spent two years.”
And not just memorize some lines. He lived Elvis, and loved him.
Austin Butler: “His laugh is the most infectious laugh.”
The biopic takes you through Elvis Presley’s astronomical rise to fame in the 1950s.
Austin Butler: “The way he built a rapport with the audience, and enticed them and titillated them.”
But tells the story through the eyes of his sketchy manager.
Tom Hanks (as Tom Parker): “There are some who’d make me out to be the villain.”
Colonel Tom Parker, played by Tom Hanks.
Alex Miranda: “I wanna hate him, but the guy was a genius.”
Tom Hanks: “He made Elvis eternal, and he knew he was going to do it.”
Many fans believe he worked the tiger to death.
Austin Butler: “Elvis stopped saying no when he should have said no.”
Baz Luhrmann directed.
Baz Luhrmann: “There’s a beauty in Elvis’ story, but there’s a tragedy in it as well.”
And, at our screening in Memphis this past weekend…
Baz Luhrmann: “They were understandably anxious.”
The Presleys approved.
Lisa Marie Presley: “At this point, I tell you this with all my heart. It’s the reason I’m here: it’s been done right.”
Baz Luhrmann: “There’s a lot of that going on at the moment. Like, how do artists make sure that they are in control of their lives?”
Alex Miranda: “I mean, I was thinking ‘Free Britney.'”
Baz Luhrmann: “I was thinking of the colonel situation myself. It’s there; it’s present. Stay tuned. I might have a little surprise on that coming.”
Alex Miranda: “Oh? OK.”
“Britney Spears: The Movie?” If so, you heard it here first.
But for now…
Elvis Presley (singing): “Only fools rush in.”
Alex Miranda and Tom Hanks (singing): “But I can’t help falling in love with you.”
It turns out wise men also say…
Tom Hanks: “Never sing on TV again. That was – that was tough.”
That was way harsh, Tom.
Tom Hanks: “I came down like two octaves below you, and stuck with the right melody and everything, and I’m not even the singer.”
OK, so no Vegas residency for me.
Tom Hanks: [inaudible singing]
But, yeah, none for him, either.
Baz Luhrmann’s “Elvis” swings into theaters on July 24.
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