Baz Luhrmann signs First Look film contract with Warner Bros.
The director of “Elvis” earned 8 Oscar nominations for his musical biopic The King.
You can set these aside hints that Baz Luhrmann may be retiring. The “Elvis” director is back in business with Warner Bros. Pictures, signing a first-release deal with the studio following the box office and award-winning musical biopic The King.
Luhrmann’s “Elvis,” which received eight Oscar nominations this week, including best picture, is a box office hit and the top-grossing of this year’s best picture nominees, earning $287.3 million worldwide. It returns to theaters this weekend in a limited run, following the buzz of the Oscars.
Under the terms of the deal struck by Warner Bros. Pictures executives Michael De Luca and Pamela Abdy, Luhrmann will be able to direct and develop original film material, but will also be able to direct outside projects.
It’s a big win for Warner Bros. to keep Luhrmann in the director’s chair, especially considering he’s only made six films in a career that stretches back to the ’90s.
“Baz Luhrmann is one of the most extraordinary filmmakers in modern cinema, and we couldn’t be more excited to announce that Warner Bros. is continuing our relationship with him,” said De Luca and Abdy. “The massive success of Elvis, which helped bring all ages and a whole new generation back to theaters, proves that Baz remains ahead of the curve and at the forefront of pop culture’s zeitgeist. Not only does it continue to evolve the cinematic medium, it also creates a big screen experience that is truly unlike any other. He is a unique artist who has developed his own cinematic language in every project he undertakes, expanding the music infused into his work, and we congratulate him not only on his eight Oscar nominations this week, but also look forward to our future efforts together on the big screen.”
Warner Bros./Courtesy Everett Collection
Luhrmann previously worked with Warner Bros. on “The Great Gatsby,” starring Leonardo DiCaprio in 2013. This film grossed $353.6 million worldwide.
Luhrmann also hinted that he wanted to release a “director’s cut” of “Elvis” that would feature Austin Butler’s entire musical performance, which would differ from the original four-hour cut of “Elvis,” which at one point suggested an Elvis Presley film. visit with Richard Nixon.
“There’s a lot of material that makes up four hours, but I just recorded it to say, not today, not tomorrow, but I’ll do it at some point,” Luhrmann said. “Because Austin was full of his concerts. He did all the tracks. Austin did it, and it was an out-of-body experience watching him do the whole concerts, so one day I’m going to cut those whole concerts together.”
Lurhmann is repped by Robert Newman at WME and Bob Wallerstein at Hirsch Wallerstein Hayum Matlof + Fishman LLP.
Deadline first broke the news.
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