Aussie director Baz Lurman has always been an energetic showman which is likely why he was able to make quite the sensational take on the life of iconic singer/entertainer Elvis Presley with “Elvis.” The flip side of that hip-shaking coin is another film by Sofia Coppola (“Marie Antoinette“), focusing on Priscilla Presley, Elvis’ young wife, and the filmmaker is making it clear that her project won’t be a mirror image of Lurman.
“Priscilla” is based on the memoir, “Elvis & Me” by Priscilla and will be produced by A24 Films. Coppola spoke with Collider and explained what makes her movie different from the Lurman biopic, citing that “Elvis” left a lot of space for the director to tell the story of a young woman thrust into that world and that they really didn’t focus on Priscilla that much calling her a “minor character.”
“I loved how Baz approached his story in a very collage-y way, but I’m glad it didn’t go into much of Priscilla’s story because now I can really dive deep,” Coppola said. “I think Baz is so unique and his take on that story was so creative. But Priscilla is such a minor character in that film so I never felt like I was treading on the same territory. I love that people were so into his film about Elvis, and now in a few years, there’ll be another film about Priscilla. I think it’ll be interesting to have two completely different interpretations of the same events and time period.”
They first met when Priscilla was just 15. Tapped for the lead role is Cailee Spaeny (“Mare of Easttown“) with the actress playing a role that spans 12 years from ages 15 to 27 and Jacob Elordi (“Euphoria“) taking on the Coppola’s version of The King.
The filmmaker is also keen to get knee-deep into an exploration of Americana and compares Priscilla’s time at Graceland to Marie Antoinette at the French palace, the subject of her previous film that starred Kirsten Dunst.
“I’m excited to do something rooted in that Americana style for the first time. And Priscilla is a quintessential glamor icon,” Coppola added. “I was just so interested in Priscilla’s story and her perspective on what it all felt like to grow up as a teenager in Graceland. She was going through all the stages of young womanhood in such an amplified world — kind of similarly to Marie Antoinette.”
Seeing the flurry of fame and excess from Priscilla’s point of view should help differentiate the two biopics. We also know that Coppola is meticulous about the use of music in her films as well, and should be interesting what music selections will make the final cut. Along with potentially using other tunes from the era.