Well, he didn’t rule it out.
Director Baz Luhrmann, whose 2001 film Moulin Rouge! became a 2018 Broadway hit musical, says a similar path for his 2022 Elvis Presley biopic might be inevitable.
“All my shows naturally can become musicals,” Luhrmann said when asked by a reporter about a possible Elvis musical at a West End charity gala last night. “I don’t know when but, without putting headlines out there, I don’t how how it wouldn’t be.”
See a clip of the interview below.
“Think of the role of [Colonel Tom Parker, played by Tom Hanks in the film] anchoring a whirling musical around Elvis,” he said, adding that Elvis star Austin Butler performed the Presley songs in total during filming, and a stage performer could do likewise. “We didn’t call cut,” he said. “On a musical stage version you could let it flow. A live stage version would give both the live performance and the inner life of Elvis.”
Luhrmann was in attendance at the Teenage Cancer Trust gala, hosted by Moulin Rouge! The Musical.
An Elvis musical wouldn’t be the first stage production inspired by Presley: Bye Bye Birdie, of course, debuted in 1960, and more recently the short-lived All Shook Up, a jukebox musical with Presley songs and a book by Joe DiPietro, premiered on Broadway in 2005, with Cheyenne Jackson playing an Elvis-like rocker named Chad.
Watch the Luhrmann interview from London’s WhatsOnStage theater website below. The Elvis discussion arrives around the 2:46 mark.