After nearly a decade of production limbo, the Elvis Presley biopic simply entitled Elvis will finally hit theaters next month on June 24. Starring Austin Butler as Elvis, Tom Hanks as Colonel Tom Parker (Elvis’ manager), and Olivia DeJonge as Priscilla Presley, the film follows the life and career of The King all the way from childhood to becoming a rock and roll icon. It also heavily features the complex relationship between Elvis and his manager, Colonel Tom Parker.
Going into the writing and production process, director Baz Luhrmann knew he had a challenge ahead of him. Depicting the life of one of the most beloved people in history would be a difficult task in itself. Not to mention the pressures of getting the story perfect, as Elvis’ family would be critiquing every moment.
Luckily for Baz Luhrmann and the rest of the cast and crew, however, the Presley family is vehemently behind the biopic, heaping praise on Elvis at every opportunity. Before the film was created, Priscilla Presley gave Austin Butler her blessing personally when the actor visited Graceland.
In an interview with Twitter Movies, Butler recounted the meeting between himself and Elvis’ ex-wife. “She just looked me in the eyes. And there was something so profound about staring into these eyes that meant so much to Elvis,” Butler recalled. “I mean, it’s giving me chills right now. And she said, ‘You have a lot of support,’ and she hugged me. That was so huge for me, getting that blessing.”
The Presley Family Praises Elvis Presley Biopic Further
If Priscilla Presley admired Elvis while it was in production, it was nothing to how she feels now that she’s seen the biopic in its entirety. The ex-wife of the late icon has taken to social media on multiple occasions to rave about the film. In a statement posted to Twitter, Priscilla Presley couldn’t say enough about Elvis.
“This story is about Elvis and Colonel Parker’s relationship. It is a true story told brilliantly and creatively that only Baz, in his unique artistic way, could have delivered,” Priscilla wrote. “Austin Butler, who played Elvis is outstanding. Halfway through the film, Jerry [Schilling] 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.”
“The story, as we all know, does not have a happy ending,” Priscilla added. “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.”
Not only did Priscilla adore the biopic, but the daughter she shares with Elvis did as well. So much so, in fact, that she plans to show the movie to Elvis’ granddaughter, a gesture that brought Priscilla to tears.
“I’ve seen Elvis the film, I watched the trailer over a dozen times. But the words I heard from my daughter on how much she loved the film and that Riley will love it too when she sees it brought tears,” Priscilla wrote on Instagram. “I relived every moment in this film. It took me a few days to overcome the emotions as it did with Lisa. Beautifully done Baz, Tom, Austin and Olivia.”