Baz Luhrmann has touted his four-hour “Elvis” cut in the past, but he’s ignited more anticipation for it by revealing that a longer version of the music biopic would restore Austin Butler’s full concert performances as The King of Rock and Roll. While many of Butler’s performance scenes in the movie are cut up and shortened, Luhrmann filmed the majority of the concerts in full just as the real Elvis Presley did. Luhrmann wants the world to see Butler’s uninterrupted concerts.
“It’s a directors’ assembly. It’s not a cut,” Luhrmann recently told IndieWire. “There’s a whole lot of material that adds up to four hours…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.”
During a separate Q&A in Los Angeles (via The Film Stage), Luhrmann added, “I thought it would be great for you guys to have the experience only we had, which is to watch Austin do the entire concert. So I can’t say exactly when because I have got to get through this, but I can say one thing: there will be a day when we do that concert version.”
Butler first revealed during the “Elvis” summer press tour that Luhrmann filmed full concert-length performances of him in character as Elvis Presley. “We weren’t going to have a moment where suddenly we’re talking about acting,” Butler said. “So I would come on stage, like in Vegas, do the entire concert, curtain comes down, I walk off. So every time the audience is getting the experience of the show. And if we would cut for any reason, I would entertain the crowd as Elvis.”
Luhrmann told ScreenRant in September that any potential four-hour “Elvis” cut would take another four to six months to edit, and he’s simply too “tired” right now to get it done. The earliest the director could see himself starting to work on the four-hour “Elvis” would be in 2025.
“Elvis” became a breakout hit for Warner Bros. over the summer, world premiering at the Cannes Film Festival to a thunderous standing ovation and earning $284 million at the worldwide box office. The musical biopic outgrossed “The Great Gatsby” at the domestic box office with $150 million, making it the highest-grossing domestic earner of Luhrmann’s career thus far.