Baz Luhrmann has revealed that a four-hour cut of his new Elvis film exists, including scenes that show the legendary singer meeting Richard Nixon.
Speaking to Radio Times in a new interview published yesterday (June 20), Luhrmann explained that the longer version exists, but needed to be worked into a smaller cut to for audiences.
“I have a four-hour version, actually,” he said. “I do. But you have to bring it down to 2 hours 30.”
Luhrmann did not clarify whether the four-hour version might see the light of day as a Director’s Cut one day, or whether it was simply a larger collection of material – but he did offer a glimpse into what other scenes were filmed.
“I mean, there’s lots of stuff that I shot,” Luhrmann said. “Like the relationship with the band, I had to pare [that] down – and it’s so interesting how the Colonel [Tom Hanks] gets rid of them.”
One of the scenes that failed to make the final cut depicted Elvis’ meeting with Richard Nixon, then US President, in 1970. “You know, the addiction to barbiturates and all of that, he starts doing wackadoo things – like going down to see Nixon,” Luhrmann said.
“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.”
Earlier this month (June 7), the director also explained why he didn’t cast Harry Styles in Elvis.
The director said in a new interview that the pop star “is a really talented actor” but wasn’t quite right for the role that eventually went to Austin Butler.