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The Real Reason Elvis Director Passed On Casting Harry Styles

Another musical biopic is fast approaching movie theaters everywhere. "Elvis," directed by Baz Luhrmann, will hit cinemas on June 24, 2022. Starring Austin Butler as Elvis Presley, the film chronicles the singer's rise to fame, as well as his complicated relationship with his manager, Colonel Tom Parker (Tom Hanks). 

Butler ultimately landed the role of the iconic musician, but not before beating out several other notable names in Hollywood — namely, "Top Gun: Maverick" star Miles Teller, "West Side Story" actor Ansel Elgort, and musician-turned-actor Harry Styles, as reported by Deadline in early July 2019. Later that month, it was announced that Butler had secured the part. At the time of the casting announcement, Luhrmann said in a statement reported by The Hollywood Reporter, "Throughout the casting process, it was an honor for me to encounter such a vast array of talent. I had heard about Austin Butler from his standout role opposite Denzel Washington in The Iceman Cometh on Broadway, and through a journey of extensive screen testing and music and performance workshops, I knew unequivocally that I had found someone who could embody the spirit of one of the world's most iconic musical figures." 

While Butler may already be receiving acclaim for his performance, as reported by People, some fans may be wondering why it wasn't Styles who landed the role. After all, he knows firsthand what it's like to be an ultra-famous musician. Here's what Luhrmann has to say about his decision not to cast Styles.

Luhrmann thought Styles was already too well known

During an interview on "Fitzy & Wippa," an Australian radio show, director Baz Luhrmann opened up about the casting process for his new film, "Elvis" — including his decision not to cast Harry Styles.

When asked about why he didn't cast the former One Direction singer, Luhrmann began by praising Styles' talent as an actor and revealed that he is open to working with him on a project in the future. Further, the reason he didn't pick Styles for "Elvis" is a practical one. Luhrmann said, "The real issue with Harry is, he's Harry Styles. He's already an icon ... Harry and I came to a place, genuinely I mean, he was just desperate to put the suit on and explore. He's such a great spirit and I have nothing but great things to say about Harry Styles."

Styles, who made his acting debut with Christopher Nolan's 2017 war film "Dunkirk," may have lost out on the "Elvis" role, but he has plenty of acting projects in the works. After a cameo in last year's "Eternals," he'll next star opposite Florence Pugh in Olivia Wilde's upcoming directorial endeavor, "Don't Worry Darling," and after that, Michael Grandage's "My Policeman," both of which are slated to come out later in 2022 (via IMDb).