Baz Luhrmann will produce and direct his next film in Queensland.
Luhrmann will explore the life and music of Elvis Presley, including his rise to fame, his unprecedented stardom, and his impact on the world at large, while also delving into his complicated relationship with his manager, Colonel Tom Parker.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk secured the project, a Warner Bros. Pictures film, during a recent meeting with the legendary Australian director in London.
Luhrmann stated, “Australia continues to be one of the great filmmaking locations in the world, where we’ve created everything from Paris cabarets to the Jazz Age in New York.
“Since shooting significant portions of the film Australia in Queensland, I’ve been excited to get back to such a conducive creative environment to realize this film.
“Along with CM and my entire team, I am committed to not only making the film, but also developing Queensland’s creative culture and supporting filmmakers, storytellers and artists of all kinds, in the same manner that we ourselves were supported and mentored early in our careers.”
Tom Hanks is set to play the part of Colonel Tom Parker, Presley’s lifelong manager. The filmmaker is casting a wide net for the actor to play Elvis.
The production alone is expected to employ 900 Queenslanders in behind-the-scenes roles, including set construction, catering and transportation, and inject more than $105 million into the local economy.
The film, which is yet to be titled, will be the latest in a string of high-profile films produced in Australia’s Queensland, following on the heels of the hugely successful Aquaman and Thor: Ragnarök, the upcoming Dora the Explorer, and the 2020 release Godzilla vs Kong.
The Premier said she was looking forward to welcoming the Warner Bros. production to their world-class facilities, Village Roadshow Studios (VRS), on the Gold Coast.
“My government’s strategy to attract major feature productions continues to deliver for Queensland’s screen industry, bringing some of the biggest filmmakers in Hollywood to our shores,” the Premier said.
“The continuous pipeline of major productions means the talented people working in Queensland’s screen industry have an opportunity to work with a legend like Baz Luhrmann.”
The Premier also noted the benefits of hosting major international productions extended well beyond the screen industry itself.
“The succession of Queensland-made films continues to showcase our unmatched and pristine tourism destinations to the world, bringing thousands of visitors to our shores,” she said.
Luhrmann, partnering again with production and costume designer Catherine Martin, has an enviable pedigree, with films including The Great Gatsby, Australia, Moulin Rouge, Romeo + Juliet and Strictly Ballroom collectively taking in over $1.2 billion AUD in box office receipts.
The 56-year-old director’s project has yet to set a title, but the film will follow the life of the legendary singer from his career beginnings to his worldwide success.
It’ll also focus on Presley’s complicated relationship with his manager Colonel Tom Parker (played by Tom Hanks).
Luhrmann is searching for an actor between the ages of 19 and 28 who can portray the singer’s shy vulnerability masking his unshakeable faith in his own destiny.
Anyone who is interested in the role will be considered and should send photos to firstname.lastname@example.org. Luhrmann shared photos of visiting Graceland while conducting research for the film on Monday.
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