Baz Luhrmann is a filmmaker through and through. Most recently, he put all his energy into Elvis Presley. But the Australian’s heart beats above all for musicals.
Cologne – With the biographical drama “Elvis”, the Australian director Baz Luhrmann (“The Great Gatsby”) is currently bringing the King of Rock’n’Roll a comeback in the cinemas. The film has grossed $261.8 million worldwide to date, making it the second highest-grossing biopic about rock group Queen after Bohemian Rhapsody.
But on the 45th anniversary of Elvis Presley’s death on August 16, the 59-year-old filmmaker also wanted to say goodbye. “I have to deprogram myself from Elvis,” said Luhrmann in an interview with the German Press Agency. “I call it my methadone program: when I make films, I live so much in that world that I have to go on an adventure afterwards to get rid of it.”
It became particularly adventurous after his film musical “Moulin Rouge” from 2001 with Nicole Kidman in the leading role. “Back then I got on the Trans-Siberian Railway in Beijing and rode across northern Russia to Paris just to get my adrenaline levels back to normal.”
“Moulin Rouge” is coming to Cologne
But the topic “Moulin Rouge” doesn’t let him go completely. The musical adaptation of his film, which won 10 Tony Awards and celebrated its Broadway premiere in 2019, will be shown in German for the first time in the Musical Dome in Cologne from October.
The organizer Mehr-BB-Entertainment is investing 20 million euros to transform the performance venue into a sinful Parisian nightclub. Luhrmann, who is not directing the stage version himself, plans to be there for the German premiere. “I’ve loved musicals since I was a kid,” he said. “In a way, when I was making the film, I felt it was my mission to bring the genre back to the big screen, even though a lot of people said to me, ‘Musicals will never be popular again.’ that in the first film trailers no singing Nicole Kidman was allowed to be shown with a top hat as headgear.
Today, the interest in musicals is back, says the director. Moulin Rouge was released in cinemas shortly after 9/11. In hard times, people like to come together to dance and sing. Even now, times are anything but easy. And that’s probably why “Moulin Rouge” is so popular.” dpa