Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis Biopic Earns 12-Minute Standing Ovation at Cannes

Elvis was a big hit with its premiere screening at Cannes. Directed by Baz Luhrmann, Elvis stars Austin Butler as the titular rock ‘n roll icon alongside Tom Hanks as his manager, Colonel Tom Parker. Early reviews have been strong and those in attendance to see the film at Cannes were also impressed. Per Variety, the film was met with a standing ovation after the credits started rolling with viewers holding their applause for about 12 minutes.

While Austin Butler has impressed with his take on Elvis Presley, another performer in the film is said to have stood out with the people watching at Cannes. Alton Mason reportedly shined as Little Richard, in particular during a scene where he performs the famous hit “Tutti Frutti” while Elvis parties nearby with BB King. The crowd gave Mason great applause for his rendition of the song.


The screening was reportedly a big moment for both the filmmakers and the Presley family. Austin Butler was said to be overtaken with emotion when hugging Priscilla Presley, who had previously given a glowing review of the film. Presley has specifically offered praise to Butler for capturing the essence of the man she knew.

“It is a true story told brilliantly and creatively that only Baz, in his unique artistic way, could have delivered,” Presley said on Twitter. “Austin Butler, who played Elvis is outstanding. Halfway through the film Jerry (Schilling) and I looked at each other and said WOW!!! Bravo to him…he knew he had big shoes to fill. He was extremely nervous playing this part. I can only imagine. Tom Hanks was Col Parker in this film. What a character he was.”

She added, “There was two sides to Colonel, Jerry and I witnessed both. The story, as we all know, does not have a happy ending. But I think you will understand a little bit more of Elvis’ journey, penned by a director who put his heart and soul and many hours into this film.”

Elvis Impressed With Its Cannes Debut

Warner Bros. Pictures

Baz Luhrmann directed Elvis after writing the screenplay with Sam Bromell, Craig Pearce, and Jeremy Doner. The film stars Austin Butler, Tom Hanks, Helen Thomson, Richard Roxburgh, Olivia DeJonge, Luke Bracey, Natasha Bassett, Kodi Smit-McPhee, and Alton Mason. You can read the official synopsis for the biopic below.

“A thoroughly cinematic drama, Elvis’s (Butler) story is seen through the prism of his complicated relationship with his enigmatic manager, Colonel Tom Parker (Hanks). As told by Parker, the film delves into the complex dynamic between the two spanning over 20 years, from Presley’s rise to fame to his unprecedented stardom, against the backdrop of the evolving cultural landscape and loss of innocence in America. Central to that journey is one of the significant and influential people in Elvis’s life, Priscilla Presley (DeJonge).”

Elvis is coming to movie theaters when it premieres on June 24, 2022.