Biopics seem to be Hollywood’s favourite genre right now. The latest real-life singer to get the movie treatment? Elvis Presley. After Rami Malek won all the awards for playing Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody and Taron Egerton got good buzz for his take on Elton John in Rocketman, casting for the King of Rock and Roll has to be pretty perfect.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, five young actors are in the running for the lead in the untitled Elvis Presley project. Ansel Elgort, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Miles Teller, Austin Butler and Harry Styles tested for director Baz Luhrmann and, quite frankly, a case could be argued for all of them. Whomever scores the titular role will join Tom Hanks, who has already signed on to play Col. Tom Parker, the man who turned the singer into one of rock’s first superstars (and reportedly took half of Presley’s earnings for himself). And while additional details are scare right now, the focus will be on Presley’s rise to fame and his relationship with Parker. Because, hey, you don’t cast Hanks in a role like that for nothing.
THR reports the lead role will be filled sooner rather than later. It seems like a role tailor-made for Elgort but the Baby Driver star is keeping quite busy, what with filming set to start on Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story, where he plays Tony, taking the lead in the 10-episode series Tokyo Vice, which will debut on WarnerMedia’s upcoming streaming platform and Finest Kind, in which he co-stars alongside Jake Gyllenhaal and Zendaya. The other favourite, Taylor-Johnson, who already played an iconic musician and took on John Lennon in 2009’s Nowhere Boy, has less on his plate—but is still busy nonetheless. The Godzilla star recently wrapped The King’s Men and is currently filming Tenet and with nothing else on the go, the role of Elvis could be his. But don’t count out Teller, Butler and Styles just yet.
Teller is a force to be reckoned with but he also has a busy year ahead, including Flag Day, directed by Sean Penn. Butler, who may be best known for Glee and The Shannara Chronicles and has a role in Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, could be a contender because he’s got the swagger, pout and perhaps his biggest advantage is he isn’t as big a name as the others. As for Styles, he proved he could act in Dunkirk but headlining a project as big as this and going toe-to-toe with Hanks could be a bit of a stretch. And let’s be honest—he should save himself for the inevitable Rolling Stones biopic because his Mick Jagger resemblance should not be underestimated. Either way, with these five actors who can all sing and dance in the running to play the King, you can’t really go wrong.