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Will Elvis Get A Four-Hour Director’s Cut? Here’s What Baz Luhrmann Thinks

Austin Butler is Elvis Presley
(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

Baz Luhrmann is a director known for putting spectacle on screen and his newest effort, the flashy biopic Elvis, was no exception. The King of Rock and Roll was certainly a man with a worthy story to tell, and if the movie had any significant fault, it’s that there was a lot of that story that was left out. The good news is, fans might eventually see a lot of it in a much longer cut of the film, but it may be some time before we see it.

Baz Luhrmann has teased that there could be a four hour long version of his Elvis movie, and there are certainly some fans of Elvis that would be up for seeing something like that. Luhrmann tells ScreenRant that, while he’s open to a longer cut, it's at least a couple years away, and he doesn’t want to commit to anything if it ends up not happening. Luhrmann says…

Not now, and not probably next year. But I don't close my mind to the idea that in the future, there might be a way of exploring another [cut]. I've got to be really careful here, because the moment I put it out there... I tell you what, all my tweets are nothing but, ‘We want the four-hour version! We want the four-hour version!’ I think people are at my gates with pitchforks saying, ‘We want the four-hour version!’

While Elvis wasn’t a massive blockbuster it was a solid movie from Baz Luhrmann and a successful film at the box office to be sure. It was one of those movies that did well by getting consistent business over a period of time rather than taking theaters by storm for a couple of weekends. Now Elvis is available on HBO Max, and doing quite well again, and Luhrmann says that may help a potential extended cut down the road. He continues…

But I don't close my mind to the idea that there would be an extended cut. Right now, with how long it's stayed in the theaters and how well it's done, it's crossed the line. But it's done so well on HBO Max over the weekend, so it's about the parent company going," Wow, it's really worth spending the money.

As with Zack Snyder’s Justice League before it, any Elvis extended cut would almost certainly be an HBO Max exclusive release, and so how the original cut does on the service will likely be the thing that convinces the powers that be that there is an interest in such a project, that an extended cut of Elvis could sell, or at the very least help retain, HBO Max subscriptions. And Luhrmann is honest that such a cut would cost more money because post-production wasn't completed on the parts of the movie that were not in the theatrical cut. Luhrmann concludes…

Because it isn't just like I've got it, and you just put it out there. Every minute in post-production, you have to do visual effects, grading, cutting, refining, and ADR sound. It's not like it's just sitting there finished, and I can just push a button and it comes out. You'd have to get back in and work on it. To do an extended cut, you'd be working on it for another four or six months something. I'm not closed to it, but not now. I'm a little bit on the tired side.

So while Baz Luhrmann certainly isn’t jumping into an extended cut of Elvis, it could happen. And if, in a couple years, the audience is still there for it, perhaps it will be completed.  

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.