In its best moments, Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis felt like a raucous rock concert. But Elvis was a 159 minute movie — basically the length of a concert itself — and it had to cram in decades in its title character’s life, along with all of his memorable songs. A lot got cut out.
Luhrmann has already said he has enough material for a much longer Elvis director’s cut, but he recently told Indiewire more about some of the material he’d like to restore. Specifically, he praised Austin Butler for his performance as Elvis Presley, and for the way he threw himself into recreating Elvis’ concerts. He also revealed that Butler did “all the numbers” from those concerts, not just a handful of moments or specific shots — and some day he would like to honor that in some way.
As he put it:
It’s a directors’ assembly. It’s not a cut. There’s a whole lot of material that adds up to four hours, but I have gone on record now to say not today, not tomorrow, but at some point I would do [it] … Because Austin did his concerts full out. He did all the numbers. Austin just did it and it was an out of body experience to watch him do those full concerts, so one day I will cut those full concerts together.
Can you imagine an entire Elvis Presley concert performed by Austin Butler? I can’t think of a precedent for that. That would make a great Blu-ray special feature — if the Hollywood studios still invested in those kinds of elaborate special features.
While you wait for the day that they #ReleaseTheLuhrmannCut, the theatrical cut of Elvis is currently available on HBO Max.
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