Tom Hanks to resume filming on Elvis Presley biopic in October

Tom Hanks is expecting to head back to Australia in October to resume filming Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis Presley biopic.The currently-untitled project, in which the Oscar-winning actor will play Elvis’ manager Colonel Tom Parker, had been in pre-production b…

Tom Hanks is expecting to head back to Australia in October to resume filming Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis Presley biopic.

The currently-untitled project, in which the Oscar-winning actor will play Elvis’ manager Colonel Tom Parker, had been in pre-production back in March, when the Queensland shoot was shut down after Hanks and his wife, Rita Wilson, both tested positive for the coronavirus.

They were briefly hospitalised and quarantined while they recovered, before returning to their home in Los Angeles, where they have been donating plasma to help medical researchers find a cure.

Last month, director Luhrmann was revealed to be in advanced discussions with Australian government officials about a restart date, and now Hanks has revealed they are aiming to resume filming in three months.

“There is certainly a plan and a desire from the studio’s perspective and from everybody else involved in the movie to figure out a way to make it happen,” Hanks explained in a video call with a reporter from the Sydney Morning Herald.

“There are dates on the calendar that say maybe we will be making this movie in October, but all of that stuff is a ‘maybe’ as questions about quarantine and temperatures and sterilising soundstages and all of that go on.”

However, Australian Trade Minister Simon Birmingham announced that the country’s borders would remain closed to travellers from overseas for “quite some distance off” in an effort to contain the Covid-19 outbreak.

Luhrmann’s musical biopic, also starring Austin Butler as Elvis, is scheduled to be released in November 2021.

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Baz Luhrmann in talks to start shooting Elvis biopic after Tom Hanks’ Covid-19 battle

Baz Luhrmann has met with Australian officials to discuss shooting his Elvis Presley biopic.The Moulin Rouge! director was four days away from filming the movie at the Village Roadshow Studios on the Gold Coast when production was shut down in March af…

Baz Luhrmann has met with Australian officials to discuss shooting his Elvis Presley biopic.

The Moulin Rouge! director was four days away from filming the movie at the Village Roadshow Studios on the Gold Coast when production was shut down in March after Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson tested positive for the Covid-19 virus.

Annastacia Palaszczuk, the Premier of Queensland, told reporters at a press conference on Thursday that she had been in talks with Luhrmann to discuss starting up production.

“We want to ensure that this can happen as soon as possible while making sure that the cast and crew can operate safely,” Palaszcuk said, according to the Sydney Morning Herald. “Screen Queensland and Queensland Health are also currently developing a screen industry Covid safe plan that will be released shortly, paving the way for the whole sector to get rolling cameras again and crew back to work on sets.”

In March, Luhrmann stated that he would look to resume shooting in Australia “as soon as the time is right”.

“Please know this is in no way a reflection on our commitment to make this movie here in Queensland. In fact, we are not even taking our sets down, simply locking up the creative space over the next few days,” he explained in a statement shared on social media. “All going well, we have a passionate conviction to be back here on the Gold Coast, picking up where we leave off as soon as the time is right.”

Austin Butler will portray Elvis alongside Hanks as his manager, Colonel Tom Parker, in the as-yet untitled biopic, which will explore the singer’s relationship with his controversial manager.

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Baz Luhrmann was days away from shooting Elvis Presley biopic when production shut down

Baz Luhrmann was four days away from shooting his Elvis Presley biopic when production shut down after Tom Hanks tested positive for the Covid-19 virus. The Oscar-winning actor was in Australia with his wife Rita Wilson preparing to start filming Elvi…

Baz Luhrmann was four days away from shooting his Elvis Presley biopic when production shut down after Tom Hanks tested positive for the Covid-19 virus.

The Oscar-winning actor was in Australia with his wife Rita Wilson preparing to start filming Elvis, in which he plays the rock ‘n’ roll star’s longtime manager Colonel Tom Parker, when they both tested positive for the virus in March and were quarantined in hospital.

In an interview with Deadline, Elvis director Luhrmann revealed that the team, including Austin Butler as Presley, had been in rehearsals when the tests came back positive and they shut down immediately that day, only four days away from shooting.

“I was four days out from shooting. I had built the Vegas showroom, the International which became the Hilton, and you know that famous scene where Elvis is playing that showroom?” he explained, referring to when Presley was mobbed and kissed by dozens of fans. “We were rehearsing camera positioning, everything, and I’d done all the tests, Austin, Tom, and the whole cast was on fire. We were that close.”

The Moulin Rouge! filmmaker revealed they were in the middle of rehearsing that scene when his producer came in to tell him about Hanks.

“So, I’m getting ready to begin shooting on a Monday, and I’m rehearsing the scene where we’ve built the Vegas showroom, and Tom guides in Austin as Elvis, and it’s a scene where basically hundreds of girls are kissing Elvis, in a ’70s show,” Luhrmann recalled. “Tom guides him through the crowd. All of a sudden, I see my producer, Patrick McCormick on the set… You and the world knows what happened next.”

The crew used the footage to help track down anyone who had been in contact with Hanks and they all had to quarantine for 14 days. They were tested and it turned out “we never had one more infection in the entire crew”.

Hanks and Wilson are now recovered from the virus and are back home in the U.S. They have donated some blood to help create a vaccine.

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Baz Luhrmann determined to resume production on Elvis biopic ‘as soon as the time is right’

Baz Luhrmann is determined to resume production on his Elvis Presley biopic “as soon as the time is right”.Filming on the highly-anticipated movie shut down in Australia after leading man Tom Hanks, who plays the music icon’s manager Colonel Tom Parker…

Baz Luhrmann is determined to resume production on his Elvis Presley biopic “as soon as the time is right”.

Filming on the highly-anticipated movie shut down in Australia after leading man Tom Hanks, who plays the music icon’s manager Colonel Tom Parker in the flick, was diagnosed with the coronavirus.

The Oscar-winning actor is now recovering in an Australian hotel, alongside wife Rita Wilson, who also has the virus, but director Baz has refused to re-open the set, with him telling fans that it is “not the moment to be resuming production on the film”.

“Please know this is in no way a reflection on our commitment to make this movie here in Queensland. In fact, we are not even taking our sets down, simply locking up the creative space over the next few days,” he explained in a statement shared on social media. “All going well, we have a passionate conviction to be back here on the Gold Coast, picking up where we leave off as soon as the time is right.”

It’s not yet known if the October 2021 release date of the biopic, which is set to focus on Presley, played by Austin Butler, and his relationship with his manager, will be affected.

Many films have halted production or had their release date postponed to the Covid-19 outbreak. On Thursday, it was announced that animated sequel Minions: The Rise Of Gru would no longer be released in July due to the pandemic.

Chris Meledandri, founder and chief executive of film and animation studio Illumination, said that in response to the strict lockdown imposed on the country, he would be closing the studios indefinitely.

“This means we will be unable to finish Minions: The Rise Of Gru in time for our planned global releases,” he said in a statement.

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Production on Marvel’s Shang-Chi suspended over coronavirus fears

Production on Marvel’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings has been suspended as director Destin Daniel Cretton has isolated himself amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The Just Mercy director was in the middle of filming the movie, starring …

Production on Marvel’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings has been suspended as director Destin Daniel Cretton has isolated himself amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The Just Mercy director was in the middle of filming the movie, starring Simu Liu as Marvel’s first superhero of Asian descent, in Australia when he decided to get tested for Covid-19 as a precaution. He has been advised to step away from the production and self-isolate while he awaits the results.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the movie is not shutting down entirely, and second unit and other production elements will continue working.

“As many of you know, Destin, our director, has a newborn baby. He wanted to exercise additional caution given the current environment and decided to get tested for Covid-19 today. He is currently self-isolating under the recommendation of his doctor,” a note sent to the crew on set reads. “While he waits for the results of the test, we are suspending first unit production in an abundance of caution until he gets the results this coming week. Second unit and off production will continue as normal. We will reach out to everyone by Tuesday for the latest update… This is an unprecedented time. We appreciate everyone’s understanding as we work through this.”

Liu addressed the news on social media, telling his followers, “Grateful to work for a company that is proactive, cautious and empathetic during this difficult time. Everyone is in good spirits as we continue to work towards making an incredible film.”

The coronavirus, which has infected more than 135,000 people and resulted in over 4,900 deaths, has affected a number of film productions, such as Tom Hanks’s Elvis Presley biopic, which was also shooting in Australia. The production was shut down after Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson tested positive for Covid-19 earlier this week.

On Thursday, production on Penelope Cruz and Antonio Banderas’s movie Official Competition was halted in Spain in accordance with new measures put in place by the Spanish authorities to curb the spread of the virus.

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Elvis Presley biopic halted following Tom Hanks’ coronavirus diagnosis

Production on Tom Hanks’ upcoming Elvis Presley movie has been halted after the actor and his wife Rita Wilson tested positive for the coronavirus.The 63-year-old took to social media on Thursday to tell fans that he and Rita were in isolation in Austr…

Production on Tom Hanks’ upcoming Elvis Presley movie has been halted after the actor and his wife Rita Wilson tested positive for the coronavirus.

The 63-year-old took to social media on Thursday to tell fans that he and Rita were in isolation in Australia, upon the advice of medical officials.

“Rita and I are down here in Australia. We felt a bit tired, like we had colds, and some body aches,” he wrote on Twitter and Instagram. “Rita had some chills that came and went. Slight fevers too. To play things right, as is needed in the world right now, we were tested for the Coronavirus, and were found to be positive.”

The Oscar winner was in Australia for pre-production on director Baz Luhrmann’s upcoming film about Elvis, in which Tom is set to star as the rocker’s manager Colonel Tom Parker.

However, following Tom and Rita’s diagnosis, production on the movie has come to a temporary halt.

“We have been made aware that a company member from our Elvis feature film, which is currently in pre-production in The Gold Coast, Australia, has tested positive for COVID-19 (coronavirus),” a Warner Bros. spokesperson said in a statement. “We are working closely with the appropriate Australian health agencies to identify and contact anyone who may have come in direct contact with the individual. The health and safety of our company members is always our top priority, and we are taking precautions to protect everyone who works on our productions around the world. The individual who tested positive for COVID-19 is currently receiving treatment.”

It’s unclear at this stage whether Tom’s co-stars, including Austin Butler, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Rufus Sewell, have been tested for the virus.

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Dolly Parton planning I Will Always Love You movie

Dolly Parton plans to pen a film about her mega-hit I Will Always Love You if her new Netflix anthology series is a hit.The country music icon recently turned eight of her songs into mini-movies for Heartstrings, which debuted on the streaming giant on…

Dolly Parton plans to pen a film about her mega-hit I Will Always Love You if her new Netflix anthology series is a hit.

The country music icon recently turned eight of her songs into mini-movies for Heartstrings, which debuted on the streaming giant on Friday, and she is considering doing the same with her classic 1974 song – which she told Elvis Presley he couldn’t have.

Dolly knew she was right to turn down a bid from Presley’s manager, Colonel Tom Parker, to record the tune when Whitney Houston’s version, which was released on The Bodyguard soundtrack in 1992, became one of the best-selling singles of all time.

“Colonel Tom said I had to give away half the publishing, because Elvis didn’t record anything unless he had half the publishing,” she recently told late night host Seth Meyers. “I told him I couldn’t do it, because I was leaving that for my family… After Whitney recorded it, I realised that that was the best choice.

“I did write a song later, called I Dreamed About Elvis, and I had an Elvis sound-alike sing with me on it and we did sing I Will Always Love You, so maybe someday I’ll put that out, and eventually on the Netflix (series), if this goes on, I’ll do a movie about I Will Always Love You too.”

Dolly wrote I Will Always Love You as a fond farewell to her mentor Porter Wagoner, to thank him for discovering her and inviting her to join him on his hit TV show.

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Olivia DeJonge to play Priscilla Presley in Elvis biopic

Olivia DeJonge is set to play Priscilla Presley in Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis Presley biopic.The Australian actress, best known for starring in Netflix show The Society, has landed the coveted role of the music icon’s wife in the upcoming drama, according to…

Olivia DeJonge is set to play Priscilla Presley in Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis Presley biopic.

The Australian actress, best known for starring in Netflix show The Society, has landed the coveted role of the music icon’s wife in the upcoming drama, according to Variety.

“Olivia is capable of manifesting the complex depth and presence that has made Priscilla Presley an icon in her own right,” Luhrmann said of DeJonge. “She’s an extremely talented young actor and the perfect counterpoint to Austin’s Elvis.”

The actress, who plays Elle Tomkins in The Society, will star opposite Austin Butler, who was cast as Elvis earlier this year, and Oscar winner Tom Hanks, who is set to play the star’s manager Colonel Tom Parker.

The 21-year-old previously starred in movies including M. Night Shyamalan’s 2015 horror The Visit, teen drama The Sisterhood of the Night, and this year’s thriller Stray Dolls.

According to Variety, filming will begin in Queensland, Australia, next year.

The as-yet-untitled drama will follow Elvis’ journey from poverty-stricken singer to music icon and will document his complex relationship with his manager, which spanned over more than 20 years. It will also touch upon his controversial romance to Priscilla, who Elvis first met during his army career in 1959 when she was 14 and he was 24.

They were married from 1967 to 1973 and share one daughter, Lisa Marie.

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Ansel Elgort relied on ballerina girlfriend for West Side Story dance tips

Ansel Elgort turned to his dancer girlfriend, Violetta Komyshan, to help him perfect his West Side Story moves.The actor and musician, who portrays Tony in the upcoming Steven Spielberg musical, credits the ballet dancer for her support during his rigo…

Ansel Elgort turned to his dancer girlfriend, Violetta Komyshan, to help him perfect his West Side Story moves.

The actor and musician, who portrays Tony in the upcoming Steven Spielberg musical, credits the ballet dancer for her support during his rigorous preparation and admits she really put him through his paces.

“Sometimes I show her my first position or my releve (dancing on his toes) and she says, ‘You’re rolling back on your foot’, something like that,” Elgort tells People magazine.

The 26-year-old began dating Komyshan while the two were attending a performing arts high school in New York as teens.

Elgort himself is no stranger to movement, training at the American Ballet Academy while growing up, but the star told Vanity Fair last year that acting and singing were always his first priority.

“I was dancing because I wanted to get better at it, not because I was really good or I liked it,” he said. “I loved singing and acting and dancing, but dancing was definitely the third.”

And he recently admitted the hard work on the West Side Story set cost him a role as Elvis Presley in Baz Luhrmann’s new Colonel Tom Parker biopic.

“I was in the middle of filming West Side Story, so it was a little hard,” he told Huffington Post. “I watched a ton of footage and memorised some of (Presley’s) interviews just to get his speech pattern down, and sang a bunch of his stuff… but I wasn’t really prepared.”

West Side Story hits theatres in December next year.

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Ansel Elgort wasn’t ‘prepared enough’ to play Elvis Presley in Baz Luhrmann’s biopic

Ansel Elgort fears he missed out on getting the chance to play Elvis Presley on the big screen because he wasn’t prepared for the audition.Once Upon a Time in Hollywood actor Austin Butler eventually landed the role of the music icon in Baz Luhrmann’s …

Ansel Elgort fears he missed out on getting the chance to play Elvis Presley on the big screen because he wasn’t prepared for the audition.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood actor Austin Butler eventually landed the role of the music icon in Baz Luhrmann’s upcoming biopic, after beating off stiff competition from the likes of Elgort, Harry Styles, and Miles Teller.

And while Elgort was disappointed to lose out on the coveted part, the Baby Driver star revealed he was filming West Side Story at the time of his audition for Luhrmann, and now feels he wasn’t quite as prepared as Butler.

“It wasn’t a bad audition. I think it was great,” the 25-year-old told The Huffington Post. “I was in the middle of filming West Side Story, so it was a little hard. I watched a tonne of footage and memorised some of (Presley’s) interviews just to get his speech pattern down, and sang a bunch of his stuff… but I wasn’t really prepared.

“With Elvis, I think it just wasn’t right. Or so they thought. That’s fine. Baz has a vision. But now I feel like it’s no big deal. If I don’t get Elvis, that means I get to go do a play sooner.”

Elsewhere in the interview, Elgort revealed he’s had to fight for good roles during his career – including his recent movie The Goldfinch with Nicole Kidman – and even auditioned for West Side Story director Steven Spielberg multiple times to prove he could play leading man Tony.

“Everything that is a good role, you have a fight for. Goldfinch, I had to sort of fight for. I did a lot of auditions and made sure I did a good job in those auditions. Same with West Side Story. I auditioned for months and months. I kept having to go in and prove to them that I could do it,” he shared.

Luhrmann’s untitled film about Presley’s early life, also starring Tom Hanks as the singer’s manager Colonel Tom Parker, is set to be released in 2021.

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