Austin Butler, from a Disney boy clone to the most faithful clone of Elvis


The protagonist of the wild ‘biopic’ of the king of rock signed by Baz Luhrmann becomes the latest whim of Hollywood

Austin Butler at the presentation
Austin Butler at the presentation of ‘Elvis’ in London.Vianney Le CaerWORLD
  • Cannes Film Festival Elvis, further, taller, stronger…more kitsch

When Michael Keaton was Michael Keaton and he didn’t feel the need to be anyone but Michael Keaton, he made movies where he was: Michael Keaton. In one of them, he is seen many times. In My doubles, my wife and I, Harold Ramis imagined the possibility of cloning as a remedy against daily lack of time. And Michael Keaton, he was the lead, he doubled over and over again. The problem, and oh the funny thing, was that every time he cloned himself from a clone he became a little more idiotic. And so on until extreme stupidity began to be confused with the most radical sanity. And then, I know, it was completely impossible to tell the real thing from the copy, the original from the clone.

Austin Butler is not Michael Keaton, but he deserves to be. He was the chosen one, before more obvious options like maybe Harry Styles, to give life to probably the most imitated character, therefore the most cloned, in the galaxy. He is, in effect, Elvis in Elvisthe disproportionate film of Baz Luhrman which is being released now and which brings us back to the king of rock as if it were Michael Keaton himself. His recent appearance at the Cannes Film Festival crowned him, Butler not Keaton. He does it so well, he moves so according to the pattern that the common imaginary has forged from the myth, that for a moment it seems completely impossible to distinguish the clone from the clone of himself that ended up being the pop icon of Memphis. clone by clone, recline, What would the dumbest copy of, again, Keaton say?

Chronicles say that Priscilla, the widow, could not hold back her tears at the Grand Theater Lumire de la Croissete. They also say that she saw Tom Hanks –who in the movie plays the villain in the skin of the famous manager known as The Colonel– under an armchair in search of glory usurped by a newcomer. But that is another matter.

I just wasn’t ready for this. Austin’s every breath, every movement…was her own spirit. If my husband were here today, he would look you in the eye and say: ‘How dare you? You are me, wrote the woman somewhere. Crying for crying, Butler himself, wept too. I’ve lived with him for three years, so the feeling of doing him justice in front of Priscilla, Lisa-Marie, Riley and all of her family couldn’t make me happier, he replied. tear for tear, lightning.

If you look closely, Butler’s is a clone’s story of independence and empowerment. Until now, this 30-year-old man with carnally perfect features could proudly boast of being completely indistinguishable from anyone with a past that still refers to Disney Channel (where he started in the shadow of Miley Cyrus); than to the glossy magazines (his long courtship of hers with Vanessa Hudgens he wore more covers than embarrassment); than to expensive advertising (his watch also dazzles). Of course, if asked, he would say that he wanted to be an actor in the festivities and, probably on someone’s advice, he would even say that he wanted to be Leonardo DiCaprio. So far, he has copied his fondness for much younger brides and now takes pictures with her. Kai Gerber, model, model’s daughter Cindy Crawford and born a decade after him. Namely, a whole prototype of a cloned biography.

And suddenly, everything changed. First was Denzel Washington the one who appointed him to accompany him on Broadway in the play The Iceman Cometh, by Eugene O’Neill. Then Tarantino gave him a couple of lines (I’m the devil and I do what the devil will do) in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. And, finally, Luhrmann, moved by the casting test in which Butler remembered that he and Elvis were the same age (23) when they lost their respective mothers, did the rest. And so, the clone managed to be much more than a clone (already announced in the next installment of dunes) thanks to being a clone of the most cloned character. Keaton, say something.

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