‘Elvis’: Baz Luhrmann Calls His Upcoming Biopic a ‘Superhero Film,’ ‘Elvis is Like the Original Superhero’

Elvis Presley revolutionized the way musicians performed on stage. He was an electric performer who changed the music industry forever. Director Baz Luhrmann is helming an upcoming biopic movie about the musician titled Elvis. Luhrmann compared his upcoming movie to a “superhero film,” claiming that Elvis is the “original superhero.”

Austin Butler stars as Elvis in Baz Luhrmann’s upcoming biopic

Director Baz Luhrmann speaks on stage about Elvis during the Warner Bros. Discovery panel at CinemaCon
Baz Luhrmann | Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for for CinemaCon

Elvis is an upcoming movie that will follow the Missississippi-born singer on his rise to fame in the 1950s. The film will show Elvis’ rise through the music industry along with his complex relationship with his manager, Colonel Tom Parker (Tom Hanks). 

The first trailer for Elvis showcases how Luhrmann’s unique vision will bring this story to life. Butler appears to be getting right into the shoes of the king of rock and he even does some of his own singing. Speaking at the Warner Bros. Discover panel at CinemaCon on April 26, Butler shared his excitement about playing Elvis and working with Luhrmann.

​​“I was over the moon,” Butler said (shared by Indiewire). “To get to explore the life of Elvis and for as long as we got to do it and then to get to work with Baz who I truly believe is one of the greatest filmmakers cinema has ever had, what a joy.”

Baz Luhrmann says ‘Elvis’ is like a superhero movie

Also appearing at the Warner Bros. Discovery panel was Luhrmann, who appeared on stage to speak about Elvis. During this presentation, exclusive footage was shown along with a reel that highlighted Luhrmann’s previous work. The director is building excitement for how epic Elvis will feel by comparing it to a superhero film. 

“If it feels a bit like a superhero film, it is,” Luhrmann added. “Because actually Elvis is like the original superhero.”

Elvis is following a recent trend of musical biopics such as Bohemian Rhapsody, Rocketman, and Respect. Luhrmann emphasizes that he didn’t want to just create a biopic. He wanted to create a period piece that captures American culture in the 1950s, 60s, and 70s. 

“This is not really a biopic,” Luhrmann explained. “It’s really for me about America in the 50s and 60s and 70s. If you want to talk about America in the 50s and 60s and 70s, at the center of culture, for the good the bad, and the ugly, was Elvis.”

The director compares ‘Elvis’ to his previous movies

Luhrmann has plenty of experience working with music and movies. His 2001 movie, Moulin Rouge! Is a jukebox musical that won the hearts of critics and audiences, even earning a Best Picture nomination at the Academy Awards. Luhrmann isn’t for everyone as he does tend to go big or go home, but he says Elvis is his most accessible movie yet. 

“I’d say it’s my kind of film,” the director said. “But it’s more grounded and I guess right out of the gate more accessible to audiences.”

Luhrmann also directed an adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby starring Leonardo DiCaprio. In that film, he blended a 1920s aesthetic with modern music. The director confirms that Elvis will feature all of the classic songs, but mixed for a more modern audience. 

“You will hear the classics, you will see the story of Elvis,” Luhrmann shared. “But we’ve also translated that for a younger generation.

Elvis arrives in theaters on June 24. 

RELATED: Elvis Presley Biopic: Austin Butler Confesses Embodying the King Is ‘the Privilege of a Lifetime’