Following (another) theatrical delay, Sofia Coppola’s biopic on Priscilla Presley hopes to make a big bang in theaters in early November. One thing, the “bang” will be the only thing heard because no Elvis music will be in the film.
Like, at all.
How is it possible to have a movie with anything related to Elvis Aaron Presley and not have his dulcet tones strumming in the soundtrack? The answer is simple, really – money.
Sofia Coppola is no slouch when it comes to her craft. She’s not only her daddy’s girl, but she is one impressive storyteller. That said, there’s no way she doesn’t do her homework to make this pending biopic from Priscilla Presley’s point of view all it can be.
But it won’t be an authentic sound bed of the King’s music because Elvis’ estate is considerably butthurt.
Return to Sender
Unlike Baz Luhrmann, who enjoys a bombastic, all-frills production, as he did with his Oscar-nominated Elvis, Sofia Coppola appreciates a kindler, gentler Hollywood. Her stories are understated (Lost in Translation, Somewhere) and unsuspecting (The Beguiled, Marie Antoinette). And they always work.
So, when she grabbed the Priscilla Presley memoir, Elvis and Me (release back in 1985), A24 threw a budget at her begging her to make the film. The film, featuring Cailee Spaeny as Priscilla and Jacob Elordi as Elvis, is a different take because it doesn’t involve the King. This is her story.
That vantage point is where the persnickety fun begins.
All Shook Up
According to the THR exclusive, Coppola asked Elvis Presley Enterprises for permission to use the man’s music. This is his wife, 78, Lisa Marie’s mother, and the woman largely responsible for keeping his spirit alive today. It’s a movie about their controversial (and somewhat illegal) romance and marriage. Surely, this is a no-brainer. Only they said “No.”
“They don’t like projects that they haven’t originated, and they’re protective of their brand,” Coppola says. “But that made us be more creative.” The estate shared it was “unwilling to support the film or authorize the use of his songbook.”
For those not in the know, Priscilla Presley was an impressionable 14-year-old girl who meets the man who would be “King.” That’s like Beyonce or Taylor Swift walking in some 8th grade dance looking for a date. Who would say “No” to that?!
Well, this depiction doesn’t. It includes many things fans don’t even like to discuss like Elvis trying to burn down his house, struggling with mommy issues, and manipulating his young wife despite his infidelity.
Welp, we should enjoy Sofia Coppola’s creativity with music and Priscilla Presley’s with storytelling. Wherever you stand on the Graceland side of the fence, this film should be discussed come award season.