The “Elvis” auteur spent months researching Graceland ahead of his epic musical biopic starring Austin Butler as the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll. Now, Luhrmann is considering himself a resident expert on all things Presley — and is ready to act as a resource for fellow director Sofia Coppola. The “Lost in Translation” writer-director is helming an adaptation of Priscilla Presley’s memoir “Priscilla,” with Cailee Spaeny playing Priscilla and Jacob Elordi as Elvis.
“All I did was reach out to her, we just had a quick hello,” Luhrmann told People magazine. “I just said good luck with it and can’t wait to see it. But I’m available. If she’s got any questions, I’m available.”
Luhrmann continued, “I like that she’s going to focus in on one aspect. I think we’ll see more kind of different perspectives on this.”
As for the possible Elvis overload, Luhrmann added, “I’m thrilled that now the big canvas is out there. Look, the Elvis-Priscilla canvas will endlessly be painted now. It’s part of the American cultural ethos. The only thing I’ve done is sort of reinstate it to a place where now it can be talked about and watched — and felt, more than anything.”
Luhrmann exclusively confirmed to IndieWire that an “Elvis” concert cut exists with lead star Butler’s full onstage performances.
“Priscilla” director Coppola recently told Vogue that her film will be a “low-budget” take on the Presley legacy, unlike Luhrmann’s grand spectacle.
“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,” Coppola said. “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.”
She continued, “Priscilla is the real focus of it. There are some aspects of Elvis’s career included but it all sort of plays out in the background of their relationship and her developing her identity. 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. We’re making a low-budget film. Not everything can be quite as epic as it was in Priscilla’s real life, so we have to recreate it in a crafty way.”
Coppola compared Priscilla’s legacy to that of Marie Antoinette, noting, “Priscilla is a quintessential glamor icon. “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.”