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Priscilla Presley Praises Baz Luhrmann’s ‘Elvis’, Calls Film ‘A True Story Told Brilliantly’

She also said that Austin Butler's portrayal of her ex-husband was "outstanding."



Warner Bros./screencap

When the first trailer for Baz Luhrmann’s “Elvis” dropped earlier this year, the polarizing response was hardly unexpected. The filmmaker is known for his unique visual style and tendency to take artistic license with his source material, so the idea of him making a biopic of one of the most iconic figures in American music was bound to inspire some strong opinions.

While Luhrmann’s unapologetic maximalism will almost certainly divide audiences when “Elvis” is released, the film already has one major supporter. Priscilla Presley, Elvis’ wife from 1967 to 1973, took to social media this week to reveal that Luhrmann showed her the film, along with former manager Jerry Schilling. And it’s safe to say that she’s a fan.

“This story is about Elvis and Colonel Parker’s relationship,” Presley wrote, referring to her ex-husband’s controversial manager Colonel Tom Parker. “It is a true story told brilliantly and creatively that only Baz, in his unique artistic way, could have delivered.”

The role of Elvis was extremely coveted, with the likes of Harry Styles, Miles Teller, and Ansel Elgort all pursuing the part. It ultimately went to relative newcomer Austin Butler, and Presley thinks that Luhrmann made the right choice.

“Austin Butler, who played Elvis is outstanding,” she said. “Halfway through the film Jerry and I looked at each other and said WOW!!! Bravo to him… he knew he had big shoes to fill. He was extremely nervous playing this part. I can only imagine.”

Butler was not the only actor that Presley praised. She also noted Hanks’ ability to capture the nuanced personality of Colonel Tom Parker.

“Tom Hanks was Col Parker in this film. What a character he was,” she said. “There was two sides to Colonel, Jerry and I witnessed both.”

It would be impossible to make an Elvis Presley biopic without covering his tragic death, something that was no doubt difficult for Priscilla to watch. She acknowledged as much, but ultimately praised the film both as a work of art and a factual portrayal of events in her life.

“The story, as we all know, does not have a happy ending. But I think you will understand a little bit more of Elvis’ journey, penned by a director who put his heart and soul and many hours into this film.”

“Elvis” will be released in theaters on June 24.

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