MOVIE NEWS – Elvis star Austin Butler, who plays him in Baz Luhrmann’s new biopic, has explained how the superhero inspired the king of rock ‘n’ roll. There was one very specific superhero that Elvis Presley had been a fan of since he was a kid…
The late Elvis Presley was and still is an inspiration to many, but the rock ‘n roll legend also had his own heroes. One who fell in love with Presley enough to be him in a film is Austin Butler, the lead character in the Elvis biopic directed by Bas Luhrmann, which we recently reviewed.
Ahead of the film’s release, Butler spoke to IGN about the film and touched on some of Presley’s influences. As Butler explained, Presley was a fan of superheroes, especially Captain Marvel Jr. because that’s where he got the idea for how to style his hair. Butler also feels that Presley really resonated with the backstory of many superheroes, which he believes was similar to his own: he rose from nothing to become a phenomenon through great personal struggle as the child of a poor family.
“It had a very big impact on him. You look at Captain Marvel Jr. and you see his black hair in curls. Also, the whole idea of a superhero being someone who often comes out of nowhere or has a big tragedy and then is given this power that hopefully, I mean, the superhero has a positive effect on other people, so that’s the whole archetype, I mean, that’s him. Where he comes from a dirt poor family, there’s not even running water or a toilet in the house, and his father goes to jail at a very young age. He’s born in the midst of tragedy, his twin brother is no longer alive when he comes out of his mother’s womb, and suddenly Elvis is born, miraculously, right after Jesse. There are so many themes like that, it’s no wonder Elvis really resonated with the younger Captain Marvel.”
Director Baz Luhrmann also spoke about Elvis Presley’s love of comic books. He refers to an interview with Presley where he can be heard mentioning his childhood dream of becoming a superhero.
“He says it himself, there’s some actual footage of him, and at the end he says, ‘I used to read comic books when I was a kid and dream about being the superhero in those comic books.”
Luhrmann also says that there is a museum in Tupelo that displays a real Captain Marvel Jr. comic book that Presley owned as a child, which clearly shows the “worn” marks from all the reading. The director points out some of the other ways in which the comic book helped influence the late singer’s style.
“Think of the lightning bolt, and think of the capes he wore, and I think there was something of the ‘saviour’ superhero in Elvis. … In a sense, he really was a superhero because of what he had already done with the public! And then in that bubble that the Colonel put him in, it can make your head spin.”
Tom Hanks, who plays Colonel Tom Parker in the film, also feels that “superhero”” describes Presley well. It would be the extraordinary way the iconic performer captured the attention of the whole world with the way he performed, in a way no other singer has ever been able to replicate. As Hanks put it:
“Look, every superhero has very special powers: X-ray vision, he can run fast, he has a ring that does magical things for him, etc. Elvis had it. Elvis had a superpower that no one else could imitate.”
Source : IGN