Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis is expected to hit theaters this summer, and the most awaited biopic assures to be a detailed explanation of the story behind the King of Rock and Roll, played by Austin Butler. Recently, the director has interpreted the film to EW as a “three-act pop culture opera,” and it is now clocking in at more than two-and-a-half hours. In a recent interview with the Radio Times, Baz Luhrmann described that his actual version of Elvis was even longer.
Also read: Elvis Review: A Hip Shakin’ Good Time
The director also revealed that the movie has a 4-hour-long director’s cut, containing the star’s popular meeting with President Richard Nixon.
Why Elvis Movie Director’s Cut Is 4-Hours Long?
Although the reviews for the movie are mostly positive from fans, extensive praise goes to Austin Butler’s career’s one of the fairest lead performances and his blowing physical and vocal image of the legendary singer. However, one factor of the biopic has been a topic of criticism. It’s about the fierce music and the mesmerizing cinematography which can be visually wobbly and unlikeable for some critics and viewers. Baz Luhrmann has now understood why some of us might find this movie a bit extra, which is because the movie’s original story was much extended.
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Radio Times reported that Baz Luhrmann revealed that Elvis has a four-hour-long director’s cut. The filmmaker had originally set together 240 minutes of footage. But given the time restriction of the theatrical cut, he had no option but to cut off some important clips and bring the film into the 159-minute time framework. Later those shots were eliminated to release the movie in theaters. He further said:
“I mean, I have a four-hour version, actually. I do. But you have to bring it down to 2 hours 30…I would have liked to lean into some of the other things more – there’s so much more. I mean, there’s lots of stuff that I shot like the relationship with the band, I had to pare [that] down – and it’s so interesting how the Colonel [Tom Parker, played by Tom Hanks] gets rid of them.”
He also pointed out, that the movie’s 4-hour-long director’s cut comprised a deeper reflection of Elvis Presley and Tom Parker’s wild partnership and the latter’s role in Presley’s band’s approaches and private relationships. And of course, it is fascinating to see how the filmmaker moves toward the politics of the star and Richard Nixon’s popular meeting and the actor’s drug abuse. These are more detailed topics that can be formulated into films of their own.
Elvis (2022) is set to release on June 24.