Elvis Trailer: Baz Luhrmann Tells The Story Of The King Of Rock 'N Roll

The King is getting his own biopic.

Warner Bros. has released the trailer for Baz Luhrmann's "Elvis," which stars Austin Butler as Elvis Presley and Tom Hanks as Colonel Tom Parker, and from what we see here, we're taking a journey through the entire life of the singer and cultural phenomenon. 

We're getting glimpses of his early life, and one of the moments that makes a tremendous impact on the young boy takes place when he enters a revival tent and becomes overwhelmed by the music and dancing. Before he goes in, he's reading a Captain Marvel Jr. comic and wearing his lightning bolt, something that would color his entire style later on in life. (We're talking the Shazam version of Captain Marvel, by the way, not Carol Danvers.) Check it out below.

Watch the Elvis trailer

Butler is doing his own singing in the film. He's got the movements down, and the camera lingers on the, um, important bits of the man, giving a glimpse of what caused people to pass out from over-excitement at his performances. The trailer also shows that we're going to be concentrating on not only Elvis' music, but the music of Black America that his entire career is based on.

Colonel Tom Parker narrates the beginning, and while Parker is clearly the ringleader of this circus (and circus and sideshow imagery abounds here, based on Parker's early career as carnival barker), Elvis appears to be the focus — yet at the same time, he's not. He's continually swept up by other people's dreams and money-making schemes. The trailer is bright and shiny, but the moments of sadness underneath seem to hint at the heart of the film.

Heartbreak Hotel

Elvis wasn't just a man in the public consciousness. He was an icon. He was a character. He's ubiquitous in popular culture, even today. Butler has it down, from the eyebrow movement to the wildness of his performances, but what we see in this brief glimpse of the film is that at some point, Elvis lost control of his own narrative. It's clear through the entire trailer that Elvis Presley wants to be a person again and can't, and the sadness of that is palpable, despite the carnival atmosphere. It's why I've always found circuses very sad: It's all paint with an empty hole underneath. I get the feeling we're going to see what's underneath this time, and it's going to break our hearts. 

The cast for "Elvis" includes Tom Hanks, Austin Butler, Olivia DeJonge, Richard Roxburgh, Helen Thomson, David Wenham, Natasha Bassett, Xavier Samuel, Luke Bracey, Dacre Montgomery, Leon Ford, Kate Mulvany, Gareth Davies, Charles Grounds, Josh McConville, and Adam Dunn. Here is the official synopsis for the film:

Baz Luhrmann's "Elvis" explores the life and music of Elvis Presley (Butler), seen through the prism of his complicated relationship with his enigmatic manager, Colonel Tom Parker (Hanks). The story delves into the complex dynamic between Presley and Parker spanning over 20 years, from Presley's rise to fame to his unprecedented stardom, against the backdrop of the evolving cultural landscape and loss of innocence in America. Central to that journey is one of the most significant and influential people in Elvis's life, Priscilla Presley (DeJonge).

"Elvis" is directed by Baz Luhrmann, and written by Luhrmann, Sam Bromell, Craig Pearce, and Jeremy Doner. It's produced by Lurhmann, Catherine Martin, Gail Berman, Patrick McCormick, and Schuyler Weiss, and executive produced by Andrew Mittman. 

"Elvis" arrives in theaters on June 24, 2022.