Priscilla Presley has given her approval for a new Elvis Presley biopic.
The 76-year-old recently took to Facebook and praised director Baz Luhrmann’s “Elvis,” which will premiere at the Cannes Film Festival next month before Warner Bros. does not release the film in theaters on June 24.
The ‘Naked Gun’ actress said she saw the film with her ex-husband’s longtime pal Jerry Schilling and was impressed with Austin Butler in the lead role.
“The story is about the relationship between Elvis and Colonel Parker,” Presley wrote. “It’s a true story brilliantly and creatively told that only Baz, in his unique artistic way, could have delivered. Austin Butler, who played Elvis, is exceptional.
“Halfway through the movie, Jerry and I looked at each other and said WOW!!!” she shared. “Kudos to him…he knew he had big shoes to fill. He was extremely nervous playing this role. I can only imagine.”
Presley also recalled meeting Elvis’ manager, Colonel Tom Parker, who is played by Tom Hanks.
“What a character he was,” she thought to herself. “There were two sides to the Colonel, Jerry and I witnessed both. The story, as we all know, does not have a happy ending. But I think you’ll understand a little more about Elvis’ journey, written by a director who put his heart and soul and many hours into this film.
Presley said “yes” to Elvis in 1967. They welcomed a daughter named Lisa Marie Presley the following year. The couple eventually broke up and their divorce was finalized in 1973. The singer died in 1977 at the age of 42.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Butler has beaten many suitors to play the king, including Harry Styles, Ansel Elgort, Miles Teller and others.
In a statement released by Warner Bros., Luhrmann explained his decision to cast the 30-year-old, saying he “knew unequivocally” he was the perfect person for the role.
“I knew I couldn’t make this film if the casting wasn’t quite right, and we searched thoroughly for an actor who could evoke the singular natural movement and vocal qualities of this peerless star but also the artist’s inner vulnerability,” the 59-year-old said.
“Throughout the casting process, it was an honor for me to meet such a wide range of talent,” the “Moulin Rouge!” shared director. “I had heard of Austin Butler through his standout role opposite Denzel Washington in ‘The Iceman Cometh’ on Broadway, and through a journey of extensive screen testing and music and performance workshops, I knew unequivocally that I had found someone who could embody the spirit of one of the world’s most iconic musical figures.
Presley previously shared that Lana Del Rey, who would have been in line to portray her in the upcoming film, would be a suitable choice. Australian actress Olivia DeJonge then landed the role.
New York Post