Warner Bros. Pictures has signed a first-look deal with Baz Luhrmann, the director, writer, and producer of the recent hit film “Elvis.” The deal was made by Warner Bros. Pictures Group co-chairs and CEOs Michael De Luca and Pam Abdy and comes after the film received eight Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture. “Elvis” has already grossed $151 million domestically and $287 million worldwide, making it the top-grossing original film in the Oscar crop and the second-highest musical biopic gross worldwide.
The film tells the story of the iconic musician Elvis Presley, and stars Austin Butler in the lead role. The film was originally set to begin filming at the start of the Covid pandemic, but production was put on hold when Tom Hanks, who was set to star in the film, contracted the virus. Despite the setback, Luhrmann held the production together and used the down time to further hone the film.
Luhrmann is known for his cutting-edge filmmaking and his ability to breathe new life into period pieces. His past films include “Strictly Ballroom,” “Moulin Rouge!,” “Romeo + Juliet,” “Australia,” and “The Great Gatsby.” He is also known for his use of music in his films and has collaborated with artists such as David Bowie, Elton John, and Måneskin.
Under the new deal, Luhrmann will develop and direct original feature material for Warner Bros., but will also have the opportunity to direct outside projects. In addition to his work in film, Luhrmann has also had success in theater and television. His musical “Moulin Rouge!” won 10 Tony Awards, and he collaborated with Netflix on the series “The Get Down” and Hulu on “Faraway Downs.”
With the success of “Elvis” and this new deal with Warner Bros., it’s clear that Luhrmann remains at the forefront of the pop culture zeitgeist and continues to evolve the film medium. We look forward to seeing what he creates next.