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Hanks' Elvis biopic to breathe life back into Coast movie scene


Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis biopic starring Tom Hanks is expected to resume production soon on the Gold Coast and two television productions have received the green light to start shooting around the state, reawakening Queensland’s dormant film sector.

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The industry is working frantically to finalise a COVID-safe plan that would enable cameras to resume rolling across the sector, as moves are well underway to return Hanks and Austin Butler, who will play the young king of rock ’n’ roll, to the Gold Coast and get Elvis back on track.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the second season of comedy television series The Bureau of Magical Things, which airs in Australia, the US and Germany, was ready to commence shooting on the Gold Coast.

The production would employ more than 200 cast and crew and inject more than $8.5 million into the Queensland economy, she said.

Rom-com feature film This Little Love of Mine, by Brisbane-based The Steve Jaggi Company, would start filming in Cairns, creating 25 local jobs and injecting more than $1.5 million into the far north Queensland economy.

Palaszczuk said season three of the ABC’s television drama series Harrow was also poised to start filming.

The State Government and Screen Queensland were working to ensure major international productions could return to the state, she said.

“We’re working closely with Baz Luhrmann and his production team to recommence filming of the new Elvis movie at Village Roadshow Studios on the Gold Coast,” Palaszczuk said.

“We want to ensure that this can happen as soon as possible while making sure that the cast and crew can operate safely.”

Production on the blockbuster at Village Roadshow Studios was shut down after Hanks, who plays Elvis’s manager Colonel Tom Parker, and his wife Rita Wilson tested positive to coronavirus in March in Australia during pre-production.

Screen Queensland chief executive Kylie Munnich recently said she had been in contact with the film’s production team and they planned to pick up where they left off as soon as restrictions were lifted.

This article is supported by the Judith Neilson Institute for Journalism and Ideas

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