According to Baz Luhrmann, the option to release the extended cut of “Elvis” has left the building…at least for now.
After the writer-director revealed there is a four-hour version of the Elvis Presley biopic starring Austin Butler as the King of Rock ‘n Roll, Luhrmann noted that fans have been metaphorically wielding pitchforks on Twitter begging for the 240-minutes of footage.
“I tell you what, all my tweets are nothing but, ‘We want the four-hour version! We want the four-hour version!’” Luhrmann told ScreenRant. “I think people are at my gates with pitchforks saying, ‘We want the four-hour version!’”
He continued, “But I don’t close my mind to the idea that there would be an extended cut. Right now, with how long it’s stayed in the theaters and how well it’s done, it’s crossed the line. But it’s done so well on HBO Max over the weekend, so it’s about the parent company going, ‘Wow, it’s really worth spending the money.’”
Luhrmann clarified that he has approximately four to six months more work to do before an extended cut could be released on streaming platform HBO Max.
“It isn’t just like I’ve got it, and you just put it out there,” Luhrmann said. “Every minute in post-production, you have to do visual effects, grading, cutting, refining, and ADR sound. It’s not like it’s just sitting there finished, and I can just push a button and it comes out. You’d have to get back in and work on it.”
He summed up, “I’m not closed to it, but not now. I’m a little bit on the tired side.”
Luhrmann clarified that a longer version of “Elvis,” if ever released, would be coming sometime after 2023. With Luhrmann’s 2008 epic “Australia” being recut into a miniseries for Hulu, titled “Faraway Downs,” perhaps an “Elvis” limited series could be on the way…
The extended version of “Elvis” includes the singer falling in love with his “first girlfriend Dixie,” his “addiction to barbiturates,” and meeting President Nixon.
“I would have liked to lean into some of the other things more,” Luhrmann told the Radio Times earlier this year. “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 Parker, played by Tom Hanks] gets rid of them.”
Luhrmann concluded, “What happens is [Elvis] starts doing wackadoo things, like going down to see [President] 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.”
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