Priscilla producer reveals how not using Elvis' music actually elevated the story

Virgin Radio

10 Oct 2023, 13:32

Priscilla (2023)

Credit: A24

The producer behind Priscilla has opened up about not being able to use Elvis Presley’s music in the upcoming biopic. 

The movie, directed by Sofia Coppola, draws its inspiration from Priscilla Presley’s 1985 memoir Elvis and Me, which delves into the intimate and personal facets of her relationship with the legendary Elvis Presley.

From their initial encounter in 1959 in Bad Nauheim, Germany, to their glittering 1967 Las Vegas wedding and the subsequent birth of their daughter, Lisa Marie, the film promises to narrate their journey, showcasing iconic moments as well as the strains that led to their eventual parting.

Despite having the King of Rock and Roll as a prominent character, Coppola and the film’s team were not allowed to use Elvis’ music after their request was denied by Elvis Presley Enterprises, which owns his historic catalogue. 

Speaking exclusively to at the London Film Festival Headline Gala of Priscilla, producer Lorenzo Mieli revealed why not having Elvis’ discography was actually a liberating feeling for those involved behind the scenes. 

“The choice was not made by us, but I think Sofia is great with music,” Lorenzo said.

“I think it gave, in a way, sort of freedom to the movie. Because the movie’s not about the public Elvis that everyone knows, but it's another Elvis, the fact that you don't hear Elvis’ music. It's really probably even more consistent with the movie itself.”

Priscilla Presley herself is an executive producer of the flick, and for Lorenzo, having her watch her life story on the big screen was one of his career highlights. 

He continued: “The most memorable moment was during the first screening, the official screening of the movie in Venice. [Priscilla] was sitting close to me, and she was so moved and shaking and participating to the movie.”

Priscilla’s Venice Film Festival screening captured the attention and admiration of the audience and industry alike, receiving a seven minute standing ovation.

Starring in the pivotal role of Priscilla is Cailee Spaeny, a rising talent in the industry, while Euphoria star Jacob Elordi takes on the portrayal of the King himself, Elvis Presley.

This perspective, rooted in Priscilla's experience, offers a distinctive and contrasting view when compared to Baz Luhrmann’s 2022 biographical music drama Elvis, where Austin Butler and Olivia DeJonge portrayed the Presleys, and the film was acclaimed and received multiple Oscar nominations.

Sofia Coppola's Priscilla is set to hit in theatres in the UK on 26th December