Sofia Coppola’s new film Priscilla paints a complicated portrait of the romance between Elvis Presley and his wife, Priscilla Presley. But for the couple’s only daughter, the late Lisa Marie Presley, the storyline didn’t do her father justice.
According to emails obtained by Variety, Lisa Marie contacted Coppola twice in September 2022, about a month before filming began, to express concerns about an early draft of the script and his portrayal of the King of Rock and Roll. Lisa Marie, who died earlier this year at age 54, reportedly said of Coppola Priscilla scenario, “My father only appears as a predator and a manipulator.”
She added: “As a daughter, I don’t read this and I don’t see any of my fathers in this character. I don’t read this and I don’t see my mother’s point of view on my father. I I read this and I see your incredibly vengeful and contemptuous point of view. and I don’t understand why?
EW has contacted representatives for Lisa Marie and her daughter, Riley Keough, the sole trustee of her estate, for comment. A representative for Coppola declined to comment.
A representative for the film’s distributor, A24, declined to comment to EW beyond Coppola’s response published by Varietyin which the filmmaker reportedly told Lisa Marie: “I hope that when you see the final film, you will feel differently and understand that I am taking great care to honor your mother, while presenting your father with sensitivity and complexity.”
Coppola wrote and directed Priscillaadapting Priscilla Presley’s 1985 memoir Elvis and me. The film (in theaters now) stars Cailee Spaeny as Priscilla and Jacob Elordi as Elvis, chronicling the couple’s tumultuous relationship, which began when she was 14 and he was 24.
Priscilla Presley appears to agree with Coppola’s vision, as she is an executive producer on the project and has praised the film on several occasions. (Priscilla’s representatives did not immediately respond to request for comment.)
According to VarietyHowever, Lisa Marie’s emails called into question her mother’s judgment. “I fear that my mother does not see the nuance or realize how Elvis will be perceived when this film comes out,” she reportedly wrote. “I feel protective of my mother who spent her entire life raising my father’s legacy. I worry that she won’t understand the intentions behind this film or the outcome it will have.”
Coppola recently told EW during a panel discussion that his priority for the film was to “approach it sensitively.”
“It was really important that I felt that Priscilla felt that her story was being represented in a way that was true to her,” the filmmaker said. “When Priscilla saw the last movie for the first time, the first thing she said was, ‘Cailee, really, that’s how I felt.’ “She really expressed that. And she couldn’t believe how good Jacob’s voice was, she said it sounded so much like Elvis, so it was so gratifying to hear that from him. ”
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