Ever since it debuted in theaters earlier this year, Elvis has been praised for its maximalist and extravagant approach to the life of Elvis Presley. One conversation surrounding the film, which was helmed by Baz Luhrmann, has been the scenes that might be left on the cutting room floor, and whether or not a possible four-hour director's cut could see the light of day. In a recent interview with IndieWire, Luhrmann not only hinted that he is expecting to release the extended cut of Elvis one day — but that the footage that could be weaved into it includes full-length concerts of Austin Butler performing in character as Presley.
"It's a directors' assembly," Luhrmann revealed. "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."
"We just had all the cameras," Luhrmann continued. "[Cinematographer] Mandy Walker even got the lenses reproduced from the '60s and '70s and '80s to match exactly everything."
Will there be an extended cut of Elvis?
As Luhrmann explained to ScreenRant earlier this year, a longer cut of Elvis could eventually arrive — but after he takes a small break from the project.
"Not now, and not probably next year," Luhrmann explained. "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!' 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.'"
"Because it isn't just like I've got it, and you just put it out there," Luhrmann continued. "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."
What is Elvis about?
Elvis explores the life and music of Elvis Presley (Butler), seen through the prism of his complicated relationship with his enigmatic manager, Colonel Tom Parker (Hanks). The story delves into the complex dynamic between Presley and Parker spanning over 20 years, from Presley's rise to fame to his unprecedented stardom, against the backdrop of the evolving cultural landscape and loss of innocence in America. Central to that journey is one of the most significant and influential people in Elvis's life, Priscilla Presley (Olivia DeJonge).
The cast of Elvis also includes Dacre Montgomery, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Luke Bracey, and Shonka Dukureh.
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