Priscilla Presley Praises Austin Butler’s Performance in Upcoming ‘Elvis’ Biopic ‘A True Story Told Brilliantly’

by Leanne Stahulak

Priscilla Presley, the ex-wife of the late Elvis Presley, had all good things to say about the new biopic chronicling the singer’s life and legacy.

Baz Luhrmann directed the musical biopic, while 30-year-old Austin Butler stars as the titular “Elvis.” The film releases in theaters on June 24 before streaming on HBO Max. But ahead of the premiere, Priscilla Presley got to see a private screening of the Elvis movie, per PEOPLE.

She posted her review of the film on Facebook earlier, having watched it with Jerry Schilling. Schilling was a talent manager and member of Elvis’s “Memphis Mafia” back in the 1950s and 60s.

“For those curious about the new film ELVIS, Baz Luhrmann, the director, provided a private screening for me and Jerry Schilling at Warner studios recently,” Priscilla Presley began in her post. “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.”

Colonel Tom Parker, played by Tom Hanks in the film, was Elvis’s manager until the rock star’s death in 1977.

“Austin Butler, who played Elvis, is outstanding,” Priscilla continued. “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.”

Priscilla also praised Hanks’ portrayal. “Tom Hanks was Col Parker in this film. What a character he was. There were two sides to Colonel, Jerry and I witnessed both.” It sounds like Hanks portrayed both sides of the talent manager as well.

“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,” Priscilla concluded. See the full post below.

Baz Luhrmann Talks Directing ‘Elvis’ and Meeting Priscilla Presley With Austin Butler

It took almost a decade for Baz Luhrmann to get this Elvis Presley biopic off the ground. But once he did, things started moving fast, especially once he cast Austin Butler. Something that was especially important for the duo to do was meet Priscilla Presley and gain her blessing for the film.

Luhrmann and Butler were in Nashville and decided to travel to Graceland on a whim, to meet Elvis’s ex-wife.

“I open the door and walk in and I’m sort of just waiting in the living room,” Butler said of the visit. “And eventually, [Priscilla] walks in, and she’s so ethereal, it took my breath away.”

He added, “She just looked me in the eyes. And there was something so profound about staring into these eyes that meant so much to Elvis. 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.”

Don’t miss “Elvis,” in theaters on June 24.