Baz Luhrmann hijacked the Met Gala to plug his Elvis movie

Austin Butler and Priscilla Presley

Austin Butler and Priscilla Presley
Photo: Jamie McCarthy (Getty Images)

Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis, the biopic about Elvis Presley that Tom Hanks was filming when he got COVID, is still more than a month away, but Luhrman and his crew have their marketing machine in full swing anyway. Tonight, the filmmaker, Elvis star Austin Butler, and the real Priscilla Presley all conveniently showed up to the Met Gala in New York at the same time and slightly early, giving them a perfect chance to casually plug the Elvis movie.

It was a smart play, since most people just go to the Met Gala to plug themselves or their favorite fashion designers, but simply by standing next to Priscilla Presley, Butler is reminding people that his movie exists and tricking all of the media people taking photos of them into plugging Elvis. Even Kacey Musgraves is there to promote Elvisbecause Baz Luhrmann revealed tonight that she’s covering “Can’t Help Falling In Love” for the movie’s soundtrackso now everyone’s thinking about Elvis when they see her.

And that’s to say nothing of the outlets that straight-up asked the Elvis crew to promote the film, like Variety asking Luhrmann and Butler to talk about the fact that Priscilla Presley has nothing but nice things to say about Elvis and Butler’s performance in it. She posted on Twitter this weekend that he’s “outstanding” in the movie and that it will help you “understand a little bit more of Elvis’ journey.”

Now look at that, we’re a few hundred words into this story and we’ve only talked about the Elvis movie. See how they tricked us?! We haven’t even talked about how this year’s Met Gala theme was apparently “Gilded Glamor,” ostensibly a reference to the late-1800s era in American history when the booming economy was used to paper over various social and economic injustices, but most of the people in attendance interpreted the theme as “I dunno, Bridgerton stuff?”

It’s finereally, Aside from the fact that it resulted in a lot of people wearing top hats and opulent gowns as a faux tongue-in-cheek nod to historical wealth disparity while the staff of Vogue (which hosts the Met Gala) and other Condé Nast publications have been fighting to have their newly formed union recognized by the company’s higher-ups—including Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour, who of course had plenty of time to attend the gala in an opulent gown of her own, but no time to recognize the rights of the actual workers who make Vogue happen.

So it’s a little uncomfortable talking about rich and famous people celebrating the fact that they’re rich and famous with an exclusive party where no one’s allowed to take photos while workers are fighting for some of these same people to give them better pay and working conditions . It makes the theme feel a little literal, so maybe it’s a blessing that most of the celebrities in attendance couldn’t care less about it.

But man, that Elvis movie, huh? It seems a little silly, with Tom Hanks under so many prosthetics to play Colonel Tom Parker that he looks like a cartoon character, but this wouldn’t be a Baz Luhrman movie if it weren’t weirdly heightened. It’s impossible to predict whether or not it will be any good, but we’ll have a better idea when it comes out on June 24. Hopefully Condé Nast management has recognized its employees’ union by then.


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