Baz Luhrmann (Courtesy of Imaginechina via AP Images)
Warner Bros.’ biographical drama about the life and times of Elvis Presley will no longer hit theaters this year. The studio has postponed the film from Nov. 5, 2021 to June 3, 2022.
Baz Luhrmann is directing the still-untitled movie, which he co-wrote with Craig Pearce. Austin Butler, who recently played Tex Watson in Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” is playing the man himself, while Tom Hanks is portraying his enigmatic manager Colonel Tom Parker.
The delay means that “Elvis” will no longer premiere simultaneously on HBO Max. Warner Bros. recently arranged for its entire 2021 slate would debut concurrently in movie theaters and on HBO Max, the streaming service owned by its parent company WarnerMedia. However, Warners has pledged that the deal — which has been unpopular (to say the least) among actors and directors in Hollywood — will not extend past this year.
The reason “Elvis” was pushed back is because it’s still in production in Australia. Sources say the film has another five weeks of material to shoot so it wouldn’t have been completed in time for its original release date. It started to film last March but had to shut down because Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson tested positive for the coronavirus.
The film captures the complex dynamic between the veteran manager and the young singer over the span of 20 years, including Presley’s stratospheric rise into the eventual King of Rock and Roll. The cast also includes Olivia DeJonge, Gary Clark, Jr., Yola and Shonka Dukureh.
Variety's Rebecca Rubin contributed to this post.