Model, dancer, and actor Alton Mason is set to play Little Richard in Baz Luhrmann’s upcoming Elvis biopic. The announcement of the Dazed 100 alum and Dazed Beauty cover star’s casting comes at the end of an extensive search for the American actor to play the rock’n’roll pioneer, who passed away at 87 last year.
Directed and co-written by Luhrmann, Elvis will explore the life and music of the legendary musician Elvis Presley, charting his rise to fame and “unprecedented stardom”, as reported by Deadline. Mason will star alongside Austin Butler (The Dead Don’t Die) as Elvis, Tom Hanks as the enigmatic Colonel Tom Parker – whose complex role as Elvis’s manager is a focus of the film – and Olivia DeJonge as Priscilla Presley.
Besides making history as the first Black male model to walk for Chanel, and backflipping down the runway at Virgil Abloh’s AW19 presentation for Louis Vuitton, Mason has co-written and starred in the uplifting coming-of-age film Rise in Light. Set in Lagos, the short helped raise funds for COVID relief.
“God, this is a dream come true,” he writes, in an announcement of the new casting.”No words can describe my gratitude & how it feels to be honoring this angel: the King, the Architect of Rock ‘n’ Roll, Little Richard.”
Recently, the film’s release was pushed back to June 2022, Variety reports, due to production delays as Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson tested positive for coronavirus.