Elvis Biopic Will Feature A Side Of Tom Hanks We've Never Seen Before, According To Baz Luhrmann

Still of Tom Hanks in Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood
(Image credit: TriStar Pictures)

Iconic writer/director Baz Luhrmann has worked with an impressive amount of A-list Hollywood talent over the years, and this trend continues with his upcoming Elvis biopic. The film will feature none other than cinematic legend Tom Hanks, and according to Luhrmann, we’re in store for something we’ve never seen from the Academy Award-winning actor.

Tom Hanks will be playing Colonel Tom Parker, the infamous music manager who discovered Elvis and landed him his contract with RCA. I recently spoke with Baz Luhrmann to discuss the 20th anniversary of Moulin Rouge!, and when the subject of Elvis came up, he described why he’s excited for fans to see Tom Hanks' performance:

When it comes to Colonel Tom Parker, I really enjoy - one of my great joys in life is working with well-known actors who are very well known for certain strings on their instrument. But I thrill at the idea of being useful, just supportive, in allowing - every actor always has so much more to give than you ever see from them. They always have so many more strings on their instrument than they get to play. So one of the great thrills in working with Tom, who is the Rolls Royce of actors, I mean, you know, that is a ride you want to be on. But to be around him and let him - he'll be playing a new string on his instrument. And I think that's a thrilling thing to see.

Well, Baz Luhrmann certainly has a way with words. I’ve never heard Tom Hanks described as the “Rolls Royce of actors” or “a ride you want to be on,” but I guess it’s hard to argue with. Luhrmann’s comments imply that we’re in store for something truly special from the actor, especially given that we’ve seen quite a few “strings” on his instrument already. Most would already view Hanks’ career as being eclectic, so this must be a wild departure from anything we’ve seen so far.

As for what Tom Hanks will be doing in Elvis, we don’t know much aside from who he’ll be portraying. Colonel Tom Parker was an infamously outrageous personality. He had a background as a carnival worker, he was an illegal immigrant, and he had a notorious gambling problem, all while managing to take half of Elvis’ earnings in what was, at the time, the most lucrative deal for a music manager in history. After this conversation with Baz Luhrmann, it’s fair to assume that we’re in store for something pretty bonkers. 

While details remain scarce, Baz Luhrmann has been slowly giving cryptic Elvis updates on his personal Instagram page. We even have a short teaser, but it really doesn’t reveal much of anything, other than a promise of style in classic Luhrmann fashion. Right now, Elvis is scheduled to hit theaters on June 24. If you’re feeling impatient during the wait, you can check out everything else that’s being released in 2022. 

Jeff McCobb
Senior Video Producer

Jeff started his career producing television commercials in his hometown of Fresno, California. After a few years, he came across the opportunity to make a living talking about his favorite thing: movies. Jeff is a film buff who is full of gratitude that he gets to spout opinions about them for a living. He currently resides in Los Angeles, where he spends his time complaining about Los Angeles.