Why did Harry Styles miss out on the role of Elvis?

Harry Stles performing live at Radio 1's Big Weekend 2022 in Coventry, England on May 29, 2022.
Harry Styles perfoming at Radio 1's Big Weekend in Coventry, England in May 2022. (Image credit: Joseph Okpako/WireImage via Getty)

So, why did Harry Style miss out on the role of Elvis? Well, director Baz Luhrmann has opened up about his Elvis casting decisions and explained why the pop sensation missed out on the title role.

Baz Luhrmann's Elvis biopic might be fronted by Austin Butler, but Harry — who’s set to star in My Policeman and Don’t Worry Darling later this year — revealed earlier in the year that he’d thrown his own hat in the ring for the lead role. 

Recently, director Baz Luhrmann sat down on Australia’s Fitzy & Wippa radio show and revealed that he had considered Harry Styles for the lead but ultimately decided to choose someone else because of Harry’s superstar status.

He said: "Harry is a really talented actor. I would work on something with him, [but] 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”, he added.

Austin Butler as Elvis in the Baz Luhrmann movie

Austin Butler as Elvis. (Image credit: Warner Bros)

Harry revealed that he'd tried to bag the lead role in Elvis when he appeared on Howard Stern’s SiriusXM show back in May. Styles described Elvis Presley as "incredibly sacred", and said he was "intrigued" by the part, but added: "I feel like if a director feels like I’m not the best person for the role then it’s better for them and it’s better for me. 

“If they think the movie's going to be better with someone else then I don’t want to do it because I don’t want to be the not-as-good version", he said, whilst also explaining that he wasn’t insulted that Baz Luhrmann went with Austin Butler instead. 

Elvis is due to hit movie theaters in the US on Friday, June 24. HBO Max subscribers will be able to stream it just 45 days after it hits theaters. Elvis is due to hit cinemas In the UK and other international markets two days earlier, on June 22. Check out our guide to all the new movies coming in 2022 for all the latest info on this year’s biggest releases. 

Martin Shore
Staff Writer at WhatToWatch.com

Martin is a Staff Writer with WhatToWatch.com, where he produces a variety of articles focused on the latest and greatest films and TV shows. 

Some of his favorite shows are What We Do In The Shadows, Bridgerton, Gangs of London, The Witcher, Doctor Who, and Ghosts. When he’s not watching TV or at the movies, Martin’s probably still in front of a screen playing the latest video games, reading, or watching the NFL.