Austin Butler is having a busy year. Elvis, of course, one of the big hits of the summer—the only blockbuster not based on pre-existing IP, unless you count “Elvis Presley” as IP—and now filming Dune Part Deunx—I will MAKE this joke work, just you watch—opposite Timothee Chalamet and Florence Pugh. (He’s playing Paul Atreides’ bad guy counterpart, Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen. This is the role for which Sting wore a space Speedo.) And now, he is set to star alongside Tom Hardy and Jodie Comer in Jeff Nichols’ new film, The Bikeriders. It’s based on Danny Lyons’ seminal 1968 photo essay of the same name, which documents the rise of the Chicago Outlaws motorcycle club from misfit motorcyclists to outright criminal enterprise. Jeff Nichols is the exceptional filmmaker behind Mud, Take Shelter, and Midnight Special, and the prospect of him bringing Lyons’ work into cinematic form is deeply intriguing. Also, do you think he just saw Butler in the black leather ’68 Comeback Special outfit in Elvis and said, Yeah, that guy can play a biker?
But why I bring this up is because earlier this week, when talking to sources about the Batgirl debacle, a source specifically name-checked Butler.
This doesn't fit into my Batgirl reporting, but an Austin Butler on dit just came my way:— Sarah Marrs (@Cinesnark) August 3, 2022
"Heâ€™sâ€¦actually nice? Like a good person? I canâ€™t cope with how kind he is, the last topline talent I handled screamed at me constantly and he asks me if Iâ€™m enjoying myself.â€
And this isn’t even the first time I’ve heard some version of this refrain. People love Austin Butler, and they will randomly just tell you about it, unprompted. It’s sort of amazing, because he’s a product of the Disney/Nickelodeon kid-actor robot factory, and we all know those stories sometimes don’t end well, and “entitled asshole” is a regular outcome. But I keep hearing how thoughtful and kind he is, how respectful of others’ time and effort, how he’s down to earth and “a real person”, as Lainey put it after encountering him on the Elvis press tour. Let’s hope he stays that way, because HE MIGHT LITERALLY BE ONE OF THE ONLY GOOD ONES LEFT.
Jesus wept into a bowl of biscuits, I did it AGAIN. I memory-holed a gross Hollywood dude, totally blanking on Jake Gyllenhaal’s (alleged) emotional abuse and manipulation of Domenica Feraud. So Jake G is off the Forever Love list. I actually sat down the other night and started a spreadsheet of Hollywood Men and started googling, so I could have something to cross-reference going forward and hopefully not deep-six information like this again, but it was rapidly pointless. It’s more or less all of them. Instead of that unwieldly database, I now have this neat list:
Hollywood Men That Remain Okay
Timothy Olyphant (last Forever Love standing)
Austin Butler (pending)
Anyway, besides being a decent dude, Austin Butler has also made the leap from the teen beat to Hollywood leading man. And he might be able to add “Oscar nominee” to his resume, as Warner Brothers is planning a big awards push for him, which is maybe the only reasonable decision anyone has made at Warners recently.