Credit: Theo Wargo/Getty Images

Earlier this month, four young actors including the likes of Harry Styles and Ansel Elgort were penned as potential options to front Elvis Presley in a forthcoming biopic. Following weeks of auditions, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed that ‘Once Upon A Time In Hollywood’ star Austin Butler has been cast as The King.

Described as a project based upon the zenith of the 1960’s singer, the Warner Bros-produced film will largely focus on his relationship with manager Col. Tom Parker, set to be played by Tom Hanks. The film will be directed by Baz Luhrmann – behind projects such as The Great Gatsby and Moulin Rouge! – and his wife Catherine Martin. The script is co-written with Craig Pearce.

American rock n’ roll singer Elvis Presley plays a ukelele, wearing a Hawaiian shirt and lei, in a still from the film ‘Blue Hawaii,’ directed by Norman Taurog, 1961. (Photo by Paramount Pictures/Courtesy of Getty Images)

“I knew I couldn’t make this film if the casting wasn’t absolutely right, and we searched thoroughly for an actor with the ability to evoke the singular natural movement and vocal qualities of this peerless star, but also the inner vulnerability of the artist,” said Luhrmann in a statement. “Throughout the casting process, it was an honour for me to encounter such a vast array of talent. I had heard about Austin Butler from his standout role opposite Denzel Washington in The Iceman Cometh on Broadway, and through a journey of extensive screen testing and music and performance workshops, I knew unequivocally that I had found someone who could embody the spirit of one of the world’s most iconic musical figures.”

Once Upon A Time In Hollywood as well as the forthcoming Elvis biopic will serve as a big break into the world of film for Austin Butler. In the past he has appeared in The Carrie Diaries, Dude and The Dead Don’t Die. 

Stay tuned for further developments.

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