Baz Luhrmann reveals Harry Styles auditioned for Elvis: “He embodies so much of Elvis”

The Elvis biopic is set for release later this month

Harry Styles and Elvis Presley

Images: Joseph Okpako and Bettmann / Getty

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Baz Luhrmann, the director behind the Elvis Presley biopic, has revealed pop icon Harry Styles auditioned for the starring role, and compared striking similarities between the two artists.

The biopic is set for release later this month and explores the life and fame of Elvis Presley, including a star-studded line up portraying some of the most prolific artists in rock ‘n’ roll, including BB King and Little Richard.

Although Austin Butler managed to score the leading role of the Blue Suede Shoes singer, it appears Harry Styles was also eager to get involved. During an interview with Nova FM, Luhrmann revealed why he wasn’t quite the right fit: “Harry is a really talented actor, I would work on something with him… but the real issue with Harry is, he’s Harry Styles. He’s already an icon.”

In another interview with The Times, Luhrmann also had nothing but praise for Styles and shared how he thought the pop artist shared many similarities with Presley, “I know Harry well. He sent me a video of him impersonating Elvis as a six-year-old. Harry embodies so much of Elvis. He has the nail polish, feather boa and sparkly jumpsuit. Yet he’s incredibly masculine.”

Controversy has surrounded the documentary, with a recent report from California’s Reparations Task Force singling out Presley for appropriation: “Elvis Presley imitated Black blues and R&B singers, and due to exploitative contracts, the original song creators whose work he appropriated were not even paid for the use of their music.” The report continues to speak of how one of Presley’s hit songs, That’s All Right Mama, was originally written and recorded by Crudup, and that he “was paid so little for his recordings that he had to work as a labourer selling sweet potatoes.”

Elvis is set for release on June 24 and features music from Måneskin and Tame Impala. You can watch the trailer below:


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