The numerous screen depictions of Elvis Presley run the gamut in terms of authenticity, believability, and entertainment value. Which isn’t surprising, considering that the pitfalls of playing The King are perhaps more pronounced than for any other music icon. Does an actor attempt to re-create Presley’s electric hip-swiveling and powerhouse vocals? Or does he reinvent, seeking truth in essence rather than literal accuracy? As Austin Butler’s version of the icon arrives in Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis, we’ve taken the occasion to round up and rank the best portrayals of The King, from big-screen films to TV movies and miniseries to the flimsiest of Vegas impersonators. Because Elvis will never truly leave the building.
Here, we’re rounding up and ranking the best performances of him. Read on to see where screen legends like Kurt Russell or Val Kilmer rank, as well as the newest Presley to grace the screen: Austin Butler in Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis.