Baz Luhrmann didn't cast Harry Styles as Elvis because 'he's already an icon'

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Austin Butler stars as Elvis in Baz Luhrmann's biopic. (Warner Bros.)
Austin Butler stars as Elvis in Baz Luhrmann's biopic. (Warner Bros.)

Baz Luhrmann says he didn't cast Harry Styles as Elvis in his upcoming biopic as the One Direction star is 'already an icon'.

The anticipated movie — in cinemas from 24 June — follows the music legend's transition from young Memphis boy to international superstar, with the help from his contentious manager Colonel Tom Parker (Tom Hanks).

Austin Butler stars as the King of Rock 'n' Roll, and Elvis' daughter Lisa Marie Presley has already predicted that the 30-year-old actor will get an Oscar for his performance.

Speaking about why he didn't cast Styles, the Moulin Rouge filmmaker told hosts Ryan Fitzy Fitzgerald and Michael Wippa Wipfli on Sydney's Nova 96.9: "Harry is a really talented actor. I would work on something with him... The real issue with Harry is: he’s Harry Styles. He’s already an icon."

Read more: Priscilla Presley praises "unbelievable" Austin Butler performance in Elvis movie

He continued: "Harry and I came to a place, genuinely I mean, he was just desperate to put the suit on and explore He’s such a great spirit and I have nothing but great things to say about Harry Styles."

Harry Styles, pictured her at Coachella, accepted he wasn't the first choice for the role of Elvis
Harry Styles, pictured her at Coachella, accepted he wasn't the first choice for the role of Elvis

On casting Butler instead, Luhrmann added: "The thing about Aust was that he will tell you himself, I didn’t pick him, it's as if he was drawn like the role drew them in because he was almost born to play it."

Former One Direction star Styles recently spoke about how he tried out for the part of Elvis but accepted that he wasn't the director's first choice for the role.

Photo of Colonel Tom Parker and Elvis Presley, with manager Colonel Tom Parker circa 1956/1967. (GAB Archive/Redferns)
Elvis Presley with manager Colonel Tom Parker circa 1956/1967. (GAB Archive/Redferns)

Appearing on The Howard Stern Show back in May, the 28-year-old singer said: "Elvis was probably the first person I knew besides my family when I was a kid. For that reason, there was something incredibly sacred surrounding him, so I thought I should try to get the part."

Read more: Actors who have played Elvis Presley

He added: "I feel like if a director feels like I’m not the best person for the role then it’s better for them and it’s better for me. If they think the movie’s going to be better with someone else then I don’t want to do it because I don’t want to be the not-as-good version."

Styles will star opposite Florence Pugh in Olivia Wilde's upcoming psychological thriller Don't Worry Darling, set for cinematic release later this year.

Elvis will be released in cinemas on 24 June.

Watch: Austin Butler reveals the physical challenges of playing music icon Elvis

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