Baz Luhrmann’s “Elvis” has found its Vernon Presley. Variety reports that Emmy nominee Rufus Sewell (“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”) will portray the King of Rock and Roll’s father in the musical drama which has yet to be given a release date.
Sewell joins Austin Butler, who will be playing the titular role of Elvis Presley, and Academy Award winner Tom Hanks (“Forrest Gump”) who will be playing Elvis’ manager Colonel Tom Parker. Hanks has played a handful of real-life people as of late, recently receiving an Oscar nomination for his performance as Fred Rogers in “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood.”
The project will be Luhrmann’s first film since “The Great Gatsby,” and he has co-written the biopic alongside BAFTA winner Craig Pearce (“Romeo + Juliet”). The film will be centered around the working relationship between Elvis and his veteran manager Parker and how he became a global icon.
The Australian director will be hoping to have similar Awards success as he had with “Moulin Rouge” which was nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars as well as winning the Golden Globe for Best Comedy/Musical.
Sewell was recently seen in another musical biopic, “Judy” which told the story of Judy Garland toward the end of her life. It won Rene Zellweger Best Actress and this Elvis biopic will be hoping to follow a similar awards trajectory. Rami Malek won Best Actor just last year for his performance as Freddie Mercury in “Bohemian Rhapsody,” demonstrating the Academy’s strong love for films about musicians in recent years.
The British actor has also had a strong television presence as of late. He received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Guest Actor for his performance in “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” and stars in the miniseries “The Pale Horse” based on the story by Agatha Christie. He comes off the back of four seasons on “The Man in the High Castle.”
Sewell is represented by CAA and Julian Belfrage Associates.
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