Bruce Campbell Offers Cheeky Response to Austin Butler’s Acclaimed Elvis Performance

From one Elvis actor to another, Bruce Campbell has weighed in on the King’s portrayal by Austin Butler in Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis. Now playing in theaters, Elvis tells the story of the rise of Elvis Presley through the eyes of his manager, Colonel Tom Parker (Tom Hanks). The film has been a big hit at the box office and Butler’s performance has drawn widespread praise from critics and filmgoers alike.

Two decades ago, Campbell had been the one to don the white jumpsuit for the horror comedy film Bubba Ho-Tep. From director Don Coscarelli, the film is based on the Joe R. Lansdale book of the same name and picks up with an elderly Elvis (Campbell) living in a retirement home after switching lives with an impersonator many years prior. Though no one believes he’s the real King, Elvis must team up with another resident, an elderly Black man who claims he’s John F. Kennedy (Ossie Davis), to thwart an ancient mummy from its attack on the retirement home.


Speaking with Variety at San Diego Comic-Con, Campbell was asked about the new Elvis movie. Having some fun with the question, Campbell threw some shade at Butler by suggesting he “tried hard,” stopping short of complimenting the performance. Campbell seems to be suggesting with this response that he remains the superb Elvis, but as fans of his will know, this answer is perfectly in line with Campbell’s sarcastic persona.

“Well, he tried, didn’t he? He sure tried hard. He’s a hard working actor, that boy. He sure is, yep.”

When it comes to Campbell possibly reprising the role of Elvis Presley, perhaps in a Bubba Ho-Tep sequel or another film about the King, the actor had this simple response to add.

“Depends on the script. Which is always the case. If you don’t have a script, you got nothing.”

Austin Butler Has Garnered Acclaim For His Elvis Performance

Bazmark Films

It seems that most everyone who has seen the film has left impressed with Austin Butler’s portrayal of the King of Rock ‘n Roll, even with reviewers who otherwise weren’t so kind on Elvis. Word of mouth about the performance has likely contributed to the continued success of Elvis at the box office. The movie continues to do well in theaters, having grossed more than $210 million worldwide and becoming the second-highest grossing musician biopic of all time, behind only Rami Malek’s Bohemian Rhapsody.

Baz Luhrmann directed Elvis and wrote the screenplay with Sam Bromell, Craig Pearce, and Jeremy Doner. The film stars Austin Butler, Tom Hanks, Olivia DeJonge, Helen Thomson, Richard Roxburgh, Kelvin Harrison Jr., David Wenham, Kodi Smit-McPhee, and Luke Bracey.

Elvis is playing in movie theaters.