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Who Will Play Elvis in Baz Lurman’s Biopic
With the Elvis biopic from Baz Luhrmann getting off the ground, speculation has started about who should play the King of Rock and Roll. In an exclusive from Deadline, the five frontrunners have been revealed and at first glance, the response is—meh. But after a bit of hip shaking and coiffed hair, it’s possible to imagine at least a few of the rumored guys taking on the role.
On the short list is Ansel Elgort, Miles Teller, Austin Butler, Harry Styles, and Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Tom Hanks has already been cast as Col. Tom Parker, Elvis Presley’s manager). But with the suspected options in front of us, let’s evaluate who is most suited to turn out a respectable rendition of “Jailhouse Rock.”
5. Ansel Elgort
This is a hard no. Unless he does something magical in West Side Story, the Baby Driver star just doesn’t track for the role. On top of his acting career, Elgort has released a couple of singles, but Paris Hilton also had a music career, so let’s not get ahead of ourselves. None of those singles have come close to taking off as hits. Elgort’s voice is naturally much higher than Elvis’ so, an Elgort casting would be a bit surprising.
4. Aaron Taylor-Johnson
Taylor-Johnson is a Golden Globe winner for Nocturnal Animals and a breakout from Kickass, but something about his potential casting as Elvis doesn’t make a ton of sense. The England-born actor isn’t facially as natural of a fit as the rest of the frontrunners, though the acting chops could come in handy as leverage.
3. Harry Styles
This is a wildcard because Styles might not have the look per se, but he has the voice recognition that the rest can’t boast. Although he’s one of the least-experienced actors of the bunch, he was pretty damn good in Dunkirk. There’s something fitting about a modern day musical heartthrob stepping up to play the man who practically invented the archetype.
2. Austin Butler
Butler has a list of TV roles that runs the teen television gamut, but likely none that you’ve watched on your own volition. While his turns on Nickelodeon and Disney Channel might not particularly boast confidence, his debut on Broadway in The Iceman Cometh garnered him massive praise in 2018. It also doesn’t hurt that he’s has a lot of potential to pull off an Elvis look.
1. Miles Teller
Fan or not, it’s hard to look at this group of five and imagine that there’s someone more qualified to play Elvis than Teller. With strong back to back performances in The Spectacular Now and Whiplash, he has a proven track record. He was nearly the lead in La La Land, suggesting that he has the voice to carry the role, and the face alone is the closest of the group to Elvis’ famous mug. If this really is the only shortlist, Teller should have it in the bag.
Justin Kirkland is a writer for Esquire, where he focuses on entertainment.