Baz Luhrmann has revealed which parts of Elvis Presley’s life didn’t make the cut of his biopic, ahead of the movie’s release later this week. 

With Baz Luhrmann unleashing his Elvis Presley biopic upon the world this week, the filmmaker has been discussing some of the things that could have been. Among them, is a four-hour cut of Elvis, the director’s definitive interpretation of Presley’s life and career, although he accepts that it would be too long for a theatrical release.

“I mean, I have a four-hour version, actually.” Luhrmann told the Radio Times, explaining that there was originally a whole lot more movie at one point, before he cut it down to the theatrical 2 hour 39 minute version because of “time constraints.”.

Whilst the filmmaker doesn’t expand on just how polished the edit is, or whether it might ever see the light of day, he does chip in on what ended up on the cutting room floor. “I would have liked to lean into some of the other things more,” Luhrmann details. “There’s so much more. I mean, there’s lots of stuff that I shot, like the relationship with the band, I had to pare [that] down – and it’s so interesting how the Colonel [Elvis’ manager Tom Parker, portrayed by Tom Hanks] gets rid of them.”

The story behind Jailhouse Rock and Presley’s first girlfriend, Dixie, are also explored in more depth in the longer version, not to mention instances of Presley’s more outlandish behaviour. “What happens is he starts doing wackadoo things – like going down to see Nixon,” added Luhrmann. “I had it in there for a while, but there just comes a point where you can’t have everything in, so I just tried to track the spirit of the character.”

If the film is a huge success, we might just see the longer cut surface in the wild one day. In the meantime, you can catch Luhrmann’s take on Elvis Presley when it releases in cinemas on Friday.

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