Austin Butler will play Elvis Presley in an untitled drama about the musician's life, Deadline confirms. The movie, which will be directed by Baz Luhrmann, will focus on Elvis's journey from rags to riches.
The story will be told through Presley's complicated relationship with manager Colonel Tom Parker, who will be played by the legendary Tom Hanks.
Harry Styles, Ansel Elgort and Miles Teller were also considered for the role, but director Baz Luhrmann believed The Carrie Diaries actor was best suited for the part.
The director told Deadline, "I knew I couldn’t make this film if the casting wasn’t absolutely right, and we searched thoroughly for an actor with the ability to evoke the singular natural movement and vocal qualities of this peerless star, but also the inner vulnerability of the artist."
He continued, "Throughout the casting process, it was an honour for me to encounter such a vast array of talent. I had heard about Austin Butler from his stand-out role opposite Denzel Washington in The Iceman Cometh on Broadway, and through a journey of extensive screen testing and music and performance workshops, I knew unequivocally that I had found someone who could embody the spirit of one of the world’s most iconic musical figures.”
The screenplay for the untitled movie has been penned by Luhrmann and Craig Pearce.
In a rather bizarre turn of events, Vanessa Hudgens and Austin Butler are facing criminal charges following their recent vacation.
The fun holiday, which was documented extensively on Vanessa's Instagram, involved a hike through the Coconino National Forest located in Arizona.
The criminal investigation was sparked after the pair carved their names inside a love heart on a rock while hiking through the national park and Vanessa posted the seemingly innocuous snap to her social media page.
The seemingly harmless Valentine's vacation has prompted police to become involved under a federal law that prohibits: "damaging natural surfaces or property of the United States."
The photo, which has since been deleted, appears to have been carved into a large red stone surface with some sort of sharp device.
According to E! News, if f charged under this law, the pair could face just under €5000 in fines or up to six months in jail!
The news comes just a week after Vanessa's standout performance in Grease Live! and the sudden passing of her father to cancer.
There is tragic news for actor Austin Butler and his family following the death of his mum, Lori.
The heartbroken Carrie Diaries actor tweeted about the passing of his beloved mum, writing: “Lori Butler, my mom, my hero, & my best friend passed away this morning. Lets all celebrate her. I love you and will miss you ever day Mom.”
Vanessa, who has been with Austin for two years now, also tweeted her own tribute to her boyfriend’s mother, writing: "I miss you already mama."
She also tweeted a touching message to her fans to celebrate Lori's life, writing: #ripLoriButler #celebrateLori spread the love for Lori."
The tragic news comes just a day after it was announced that Vanessa had landed the lead role in the Broadway play, Gigi.
Our thoughts are with Austin and his family at this terrible time.