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Baz Luhrmann Compares Elvis To Eminem Ahead Of New Biopic Release

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Baz Luhrmann Compares Elvis To Eminem Ahead Of New Biopic Release

Baz Luhrmann, director of the upcoming Elvis biopic, says the legendary rock and roll singer has comparisons with Eminem.

Luhrmann's film tells the story of Elvis growing up 'immersed in Black culture', which went on to influence Elvis' life and music. He says the iconic rocker paved the way for artists like Eminem.

"I wouldn't say that [Elvis is] a civil rights fighter, he wasn't a political creature, but he absolutely was this lightning rod," he said.

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"What people have forgotten is, he's this lightning rod because he grows up in the Black community, like Eminem.

"I did the academic research, I lived in the south, I had an office at the back of Graceland and found one African-American living guy who, when Elvis at the time was living in one of the few White houses in the Black community and joined a civil gang, he was there."

Marshall Mathers makes his own contribution to the film in the form of his end credits song The King and I - the rapper's first release in a year.

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As well as their upbringing and influences, Luhrmann says their permanent position under the microscope is resonating with young fans the world over.

"I think that younger people are responding to it in the most unexpected way because they are really connected to the idea of instant fame now," he said.

"You know, like you can be a TikTok superstar in twenty minutes and Elvis was the first-ever teen idol. There were no teen idols before because teenagers didn't exist with money. They didn't have money to buy stuff then, suddenly, they can buy stuff and it happened to him overnight. He's driving a truck one minute and two years later he's the richest, most famous man on the planet and [...] he's 'caught in a trap and can't get out,' you know what I mean?

"On the one hand, it's amazing, on the other hand, there's Colonel Tom Parker, played by Tom Hanks who sees him really as a sort of trained carnival act.'"

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Elvis stars Austin Butler as the King, offering an intimate look at the star's public and personal relationships as he becomes the most watched man on the planet.


Luhrmann compared Elvis to Eminem. Credit: Alamy
Luhrmann compared Elvis to Eminem. Credit: Alamy

He went back to where it all started: Graceland.

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It's the anecdotes from those who lived alongside the King that would set the tone for the film.

"I mean, that scene where [Elvis is] in the juke-joint, and the gospel's in him and the preacher grabs him saying 'leave him be, he's with the spirit', that was told to me verbatim," Luhrmann said.

"And so, there's lots and lots of people who write about Elvis now, and there's lots of fans and I respect that, but I lived it in the field. And all I did was translate that to the cinema."

You can see Luhrmann's Elvis is in cinemas from 24th June.

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Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Film & TV, Film and TV, Celebrity, News

Shola Lee
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