Just before the pandemic saw a worldwide lockdown, Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis Presley movie was set to start shooting in Australia. But during rehearsals of a Las Vegas scene, Colonel Tom Parker star Tom Hanks and his wife were diagnosed with coronavirus seeing production shutdown indefinitely. The Oscar-winner was one of the first Hollywood stars to catch the sickness and went into self-isolation before flying back home to Los Angeles.
Now three months on and Hanks has given an update on the Elvis biopic and when filming is currently set to resume.
Speaking with The Sydney Morning Herald to promote his new movie Greyhound, the 63-year-old said: “We are part of an entire industry and art form and business of cinema that is trying to reconcile how to go on.
“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.”
The star clarified that there are dates set for an October start to filming, but it’s still a maybe.
Hanks continued: “But all of that stuff is a ‘maybe’ as questions about quarantine and temperatures and sterilising sound stages and all of that go on.”
It turns out the Elvis movie was literally just about to begin principal photography when they had to shut down.
The actor showed his thumb and index finger almost touching and said: “We were this far away from starting shooting.”
Hanks went on to point out that having tested positive on a Tuesday and isolated on a Wednesday, it was the following Monday that filming was set to begin.
Baz added: “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.”
Praising Elvis star Butler, the director said: “During the testing process, his commitment, his transformative abilities from the young Elvis to beyond, he had been playing so very well.
“He was terrific. There was such great energy and excitement in the cast and company, about the show we were about to shoot.”