Baz Luhrmann revealed in June that his first assembly cut of “Elvis” ran four hours long, and it appears fans might one day get to see the director’s extended vision come to life… just not right now.
Luhrmann recently told ScreenRant (via IndieWire) that a four-hour “Elvis” cut would take another four to six months to edit, and he’s simply too “tired” right now to get it done. The earliest the director could see himself starting to work on the four-hour “Elvis” would be in 2025.
” I don’t close my mind to the idea that in the future, there might be a way of exploring another [cut],” Luhrmann said. “I’ve got to be really careful here, because the moment I put it out there… I tell you what, all my tweets are nothing but, ‘We want the four-hour version! We want the four-hour version!’ I think people are at my gates with pitchforks saying, ‘We want the four-hour version!’
“Right now, with how long it’s stayed in the theaters and how well it’s done, it’s crossed the line,” the director continued. “But it’s done so well on HBO Max over the weekend, so it’s about the parent company going, ‘Wow, it’s really worth spending the money.’ Because it isn’t just like I’ve got it, and you just put it out there. Every minute in post-production, you have to do visual effects, grading, cutting, refining and ADR sound. It’s not like it’s just sitting there finished and I can just push a button and it comes out. You’d have to get back in and work on it. To do an extended cut, you’d be working on it for another four or six months. I’m not closed to it, but not now. I’m a little bit on the tired side.”
“Elvis” became a breakout hit for Warner Bros. over the summer, world premiering at the Cannes Film Festival to a thunderous standing ovation and earning $284 million at the worldwide box office. The musical biopic outgrossed “The Great Gatsby” at the domestic box office with $150 million, making it the highest-grossing domestic earner of Luhrmann’s career thus far.
Luhrmann first revealed the existence of a four-hour “Elvis” cut to Radio Times, adding that he axed scenes that explored Elvis’ relationship with “first girlfriend, Dixie and later on how… once he’s caught in a trap, and he’s discombobulated and doesn’t understand… someone who’s got such a hole in his heart like Elvis constantly looking and searching for love and finding it on stage but nowhere else.”
The filmmaker also shot scrapped scenes that tackled Elvis’ “addiction to barbiturates and all of that.” Luhrmann said, “What happens is he starts doing wackadoo things — like going down to see Nixon. 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.”
“Elvis” is now available to stream on HBO Max.
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