Baz Luhrmann Explained Why Harry Styles Was Rejected For "Elvis" Instead Of Austin Butler

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In just a few weeks, the world will get to see Austin Butler's performance as Elvis Presley in Baz Luhrmann's latest film, Elvis.

  Warner Bros/Courtesy Everett Collection
Warner Bros/Courtesy Everett Collection

Austin's performance has already received some approval from critics — but the actor wasn't the only person in the running to tackle the iconic role.

Austin as Elvis walking through a crowd
Hugh Stewart / Warner Bros / courtesy Everett Collection

As it turns out, Harry Styles was heavily interested in becoming Elvis for the film — but Baz ended up turning him down.

  Dave J Hogan / Getty Images
Dave J Hogan / Getty Images

The Moulin Rouge! director explained why he rejected Harry in a recent interview on the Fitzy & Wippa podcast.

Baz on the red carpet
Don Arnold / WireImage / Getty Images

"The real issue with Harry is he's Harry Styles," Baz said.

Harry smiling on stage
Gilbert Carrasquillo / GC Images / Getty Images

“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."

  Kevin Mazur / Getty Images for Coachella
Kevin Mazur / Getty Images for Coachella

Baz had a ton of praise for Harry too. He called the singer a "really talented actor" and a "great spirit," and he also said that he'd love to work with him in the future.

  Ian West - Pa Images / PA Images via Getty Images
Ian West - Pa Images / PA Images via Getty Images

Ultimately, though, Austin won out for the role because, in Baz's words, "he was almost born to play it."

  Don Arnold / WireImage / Getty Images
Don Arnold / WireImage / Getty Images

"He just happened, like, two years nonstop living and breathing as Elvis," Baz further explained. "He’s now going through a...deprogramming thing because he’s been a long time since he’s known who he was."

  Brendon Thorne / Getty Images
Brendon Thorne / Getty Images

We'll see for ourselves how Austin measures up when the film comes out on June 24. In the meantime, check out the trailer below: