Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis is just about to come out and with already massive levels of hype, Luhrmann decided to throw a little more fuel on the fire. Considering that early reviews are quite positive, Luhrmann must feel very confident about Elvis, so much so that he has confirmed that there is a four-hour cut of the movie! The theatrical release sits at about 159 minutes, so we’re talking Lord of the Rings extended edition levels of extra content here.
As Luhrmann told Radio Times, “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 Hanks] gets rid of them.”
What else has Luhrmann had to leave on the cutting room floor? Quite a bit, as you’d imagine. It was going to include a deeper exploration of the relationship Elvis had with his “first girlfriend, Dixie. And later on how… once he’s caught in a trap, and he’s discombobulated and doesn’t understand… someone who’s got such a hole in his heart like Elvis constantly looking and searching for love and finding it on stage but nowhere else.”
Interestingly enough we aren’t getting much of Elvis’ “addiction to barbiturates and all of that.” It seems that maybe there wasn’t time, but hearing Luhrmann talk about it, you have to wonder why it isn’t in the theatrical release. As Luhrmann describes the era, “What happens is he starts doing wackadoo things – like going down to see Nixon. I had it in there for a while but there just comes a point where you can’t have everything in, so I just tried to track the spirit of the character.”
Is not the Nixon and the drugs part of the spirit of the character? I suppose we will find out when the film releases on June 23.
Interestingly, some reviewers have already called the film bloated so maybe it was for the best that so much was cut, but one has to wonder what the overlong version may be.
So… release the Luhrmann cut?
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Long live the King, baby!
On its debut weekend, ‘Elvis’ has managed to take the number one spot at the U.S. box office from ‘Top Gun: Maverick.’