‘Elvis’ movie wows CinemaCon with Doja Cat, ‘superhero’ story for ‘a younger generation’

LAS VEGAS – Baz Luhrmann is throwing out the rulebook for his upcoming Elvis Presley film.

“Elvis” (in theaters June 24) tracks three decades in the life and career of the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll, played by former Nickelodeon and Disney Channel actor Austin Butler.

But as Luhrmann explained to theater owners at CinemaCon Tuesday, “this isn’t really a biopic.” Rather, the movie “is about America in the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s,” viewed through the prism of Presley’s astronomical rise and fall.

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

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So what does that mean? For starters, rapper Doja Cat samples “Hound Dog” on a booming new track that played over footage shown to convention-goers Tuesday.

And unsurprising to anyone who’s seen Luhrmann’s “Moulin Rouge!,” His frenetic editing, garish colors and swooping cameras were all showcased in a concert scene of Presley being mobbed by fans, as the singer thrusts and gyrates crooning “Trouble.”.

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First ‘Elvis’ trailer:Austin Butler explodes to life as Presley in Baz Luhrmann’s new movie.

“In that moment, Elvis the man was sacrificed and Elvis the god was born,” Tom Hanks says in voiceover, laying on a thick Dutch accent as Presley’s domineering manager, Colonel Tom Parker.

The extended preview was met with rapturous applause from CinemaCon attendees, who gave Butler a hero’s welcome when he walked onto The Colosseum stage at Caesars Palace.

“If it feels a bit like a superhero film, it is,” Luhrmann said. “Elvis is kind of the original superhero: He rises so high, finds his kryptonite, falls so low and then a beautiful, powerful tragedy ensues.”.

The man who will be king: Austin Butler cast as Elvis Presley.

Butler, who did all his own singing as a younger version of Presley in the film, echoed Luhrmann’s superpowered sentiment.

Taking on this role, “I set out to find his humanity,” Butler said. “He’s one of those individuals who’s been lifted up to such iconic status that he seems superhuman.”.

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