Baz Luhrmann to Film Elvis Presley Movie with Tom Hanks in Queensland

Photo by Justin Ridler – © 2013 Bazmark Film III Pty Limited

Baz Luhrmann is moving ahead with his planned Elvis Presley biopic, locking in the production location of Queensland, Australia.

The Moulin Rouge! director is gearing up to start production on a film that will look at the life of Elvis Presley, exploring his music, his rise to fame, his impact on the world, and his complicated relationship with his manager, Colonel Tom Parker. Two-time Oscar winner Tom Hanks will be playing Parker. Elvis still hasn’t been cast, but Luhrmann is said to have cast his net wide to find the right actor.

The Warner Bros. film will be shot in Queensland, a move secured by Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk in a meeting with Luhrmann in London.

“Australia continues to be one of the great filmmaking locations in the world, where we’ve created everything from Paris cabarets to the Jazz Age in New York,” Luhrmann said in a statement. “Since shooting significant portions of the film Australia in Queensland, I’ve been excited to get back to such a conducive creative environment to realize this film.”

The biopic is expected to create around 900 jobs for Queenslanders. The behind-the-scenes jobs will include set construction, catering and transportation. The production is also poised to inject over $AU105 million into the local economy. No details regarding what subsidy deals, if any, where put forward.

“My government’s strategy to attract major feature productions continues to deliver for Queensland’s screen industry, bringing some of the biggest filmmakers in Hollywood to our shores,” Palaszczuk said.

“The continuous pipeline of major productions means the talented people working in Queensland’s screen industry have an opportunity to work with a legend like Baz Luhrmann.”

Luhrmann’s still-untitled Elvis movie marks yet another high-profile project to be set up in the state. Recent big productions to hit Queensland include Aquaman, Thor: Ragnarok, Dora the Explorer, and Godzilla vs Kong.

This will be the first film in around six years for Luhrmann, whose list of credits include Strictly Ballroom, Romeo & Juliet and Australia. His last feature was the Leonardo DiCaprio-starring The Great Gatsby, which was also mostly shot in Australia.

Warner Bros.


+ posts

Guillermo, Founder and Manager of Screen Realm, lives and breathes all things screen and pop culture. He has over eight years' experience in the media landscape in a career that has encompassed television, radio, and the online space. When he's not working hard on Screen Realm, you can find him at a local Sydney cinema or catching up on his ever-growing list of must-watch TV shows.