Priscilla: Sofia Coppola’s Priscilla Presley film will not feature any of Elvis’ music

The biopic of Elvis Presley’s widow has the challenging obstacle of featuring the iconic musical figure without any of his signature tunes.

Baz Luhrmann’s Rock N Roll opera biopic on the life of The King, Elvis Presley, aimed to shed light on certain aspects of his life not previously explored in depth. Mostly told through the lens of Colonel Tom Parker, portrayed by Tom Hanks, Elvis took a look at how the man, the myth, the legend skyrocketed to divine-like status due to his relationship with the Colonel. Now, Sofia Coppola’s Priscilla is exploring the story behind Elvis’ widow, Priscilla Presley.

Luhrmann has stated that he is in full support of Priscilla and doesn’t view the film as any sort of competition or capitalization on his own movie. One presence that isn’t showing its support is Elvis Presley Enterprises. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Sofia Coppola has revealed that she approached the company for the usage of Elvis’ music for the film, but to no avail. She explains, “They don’t like projects that they haven’t originated, and they’re protective of their brand. But that made us be more creative.” 

The protection of the brand may be due to Coppola’s representation of Elvis, since life with The King was anything but smooth. She outlines the change in the feeling the film has when the Rock N Roll star enters the scene, “When Elvis is in the building, there’s a different energy because he’s so full of life. When he’s gone, it’s more quiet. Every time Elvis shows up, we just burn money. With Priscilla, things felt sure-footed and we knew what to do and we had the means to do it. And Elvis would whirl in and it would be like, ‘Oh man, that guy’s always got to be in some crazy outfit and he’s always got to have 10 people around him.’ ”

Baz Luhrmann didn’t shy away from the manic moments in his biopic. However, the Aussie director looks at Coppola’s film as somewhat of a companion piece, saying, “Elvis and Priscilla are a kind of American royalty, that were… I wouldn’t say banished, but I think it just shows that… Elvis and Priscilla are back in the culture, not just popular culture, but, I think, in American industry. I think their lives are really woven into the fabric of the American story. And I’m really looking forward to what part of the story is told.”

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