Warner Bros. Pictures announced today that the studio has signed a first-look deal with writer, director and producer Baz Luhrmann. The announcement was made today by Warner Bros. Pictures Group Co-Chairs and CEOs Michael De Luca and Pam Abdy.
The news comes on the heels of the critical acclaim and commercial success of his most recent film, Elvis, which continues to earn accolades — most recently an impressive eight Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture — and which returns to theaters across North America this weekend for a limited engagement.
De Luca and Abdy stated, “Baz Luhrmann is one of the most singular filmmakers in modern cinema, and we couldn’t be more excited to announce that Warner Bros. is continuing our association with him. The massive success of ‘Elvis,’ which helped drive audiences of all ages and a whole new generation back to theaters, proves Baz remains ahead of the curve and at the forefront of the pop culture zeitgeist.
“He not only continues to evolve the film medium, but he also creates a big screen experience that is truly like no other. He is a one-of-a-kind artist who has established his own cinematic language inherent in every project he takes on, extending to the music he infuses into his work, and we not only congratulate him on this week’s eight Oscar nominations, but also look forward to our future endeavors together on the big screen.”
Throughout his career, Baz Lurhmann has continually turned classic material into something timeless, making ballroom dancing a worldwide phenomenon with Strictly Ballroom, reigniting the musical with Moulin Rouge! while eliciting a timeless performance from Nicole Kidman, and launching Leonardo DiCaprio to superstardom in Romeo + Juliet, a version of Shakespeare for the ages.
Elvis is further evidence of his unique ability to bridge any age gap, not only on the screen but with his incredibly original soundtracks – linking Elvis Presley with Doja Cat, much as he did with the Jazz Age The Great Gatsby via Jay-Z and rising star Lana Del Rey.
A widely acknowledged star maker, Baz Luhrmann most recently directed Austin Butler as Elvis Presley in Warner Bros. Pictures‘ Elvis, a role that resulted in an Oscar nomination for Best Actor in a Leading Role.
Luhrmann also actively produces the wealth of music featured in his projects, has worked with a remarkable array of musical collaborators — from legends David Bowie and Elton John to such rising stars as Doja Cat and Måneskin — and his soundtracks have garnered multiple Grammy Award nominations.
Under the deal, Luhrmann will develop and direct original feature material, but is able to direct outside projects as well.
Oscar-nominated Baz Luhrmann is a master storyteller and pioneer of pop culture, writing, directing and producing across film, opera, theatre, events and music. His signature blend of drama, romance and decadence and wit fuses high and low culture, a unique sonic and cinematic language and trademark theatrical aesthetic that continuously captivates audiences and ignites imaginations around the world.
Nominated for eight Academy Awards, three Golden Globes with a win for Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama, seven Critics Choice Awards, the PGA’s Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures, and named one of AFI’s Top 10 Films of 2022, Elvis has become the filmmaker’s highest-grossing film in the U.S. and in 22 international territories, including the UK, Mexico, Holland, Brazil and New Zealand.
In Australia, it is currently ranked as the fourth-highest grossing Australian film of all time. Elvis also has landed as the second-highest grossing musical biopic of all time, globally.
Baz Luhrmann burst onto the scene with the first of the Red Curtain Trilogy, Strictly Ballroom, followed by the ambitious modern adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet and Academy Award-winning Moulin Rouge!, which cemented Luhrmann’s following amongst audiences and industry alike. In addition, Moulin Rouge! The Musical won 10 Tony Awards (the most of the 2020-2019 season), adding to the two Tony Awards garnered by Luhrmann’s production of Puccini’s opera La Bohème on Broadway in 2003.
The filmmaker’s sweeping historical epic Australia was followed by his adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, which won two Academy Awards and became Luhrmann’s highest-grossing film to date. A collaboration with Netflix later produced The Get Down (2016), a critically successful series based on the birth of hip-hop in 1970s South Bronx. Luhrmann’s recent directorial projects include Faraway Downs, a six-part Hulu series reimagining 2008’s Australia.