How Great Thou Art: Luhrmann's Elvis film

Baz Lurhmann's biopic of Elvis is set to bring rock n roll to the big screen

Emily Kelso
27th May 2022
Image credit: IMDB
Baz Luhrmann, known for Moulin Rouge, has embarked on another endeavour, namely a biopic of the King of Rock n Roll: Elvis Presley.

The trailer begins with Tom Hanks (acting as Colonel Tom Parker, Elvis's manager) narrating in a sinister tone, openly admitting his role in Elvis' story is one of controversy to most fans. Indeed, from what little I know of the Colonel from my father's rants, he has few claims to being altruistic. The trailer shows snippets from Elvis' roots and influences and his rise to fame, all in the style that you'd expect from a Luhrmann film.

The central theme of this film seems to be concerned with legacy: why did Elvis do what he did and would he be remembered? These are questions Elvis asked throughout his life, so it is no surprise they appear here too. We have the gift of hindsight, yes he went on to become a star well-loved for his music but equally for his death at a relatively young age.

It makes you wonder. How much in a film about Elvis will they let the man speak (or sing) for himself?

The film does not seem to shy away from contemporary discussions of segregation as well, which are a crucial part of the Elvis story given his musical inspirations.

As this is a biopic of a singer, the music matters as much as the film. Given the soundtrack for Moulin Rouge, viewers will expect to hear something off-the-wall, as that is what Luhrmann does best. The February trailer uses Presley's vocals, but a newer trailer premieres Maneskin's rendition of If I Can Dream. Doja Cat is also known to have contributed to the film's soundtrack, which makes it clear the music in the film will not be traditional, instead more contemporary takes on classic songs. It makes you wonder. How much in a film about Elvis will they let the man speak (or sing) for himself?

I am curious to see how Elvis will be portrayed in this film. The one-dimensional heartthrob of many? The singer who redefined a genre? We can only wait and see.

Elvis is released in UK cinemas on 24th June.

Video credit: Warner Bros. Pictures
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AUTHOR: Emily Kelso
Third year History and Archaeology student. Also a Comment Sub-Editor.

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