EntertainmentMovie News

“Never Wanted To Vilify”: Priscilla’s Elvis Presley Representation Clarified By Director-TGN


  • Sofia Coppola clarifies that she “never wanted to vilify” Elvis in the film Priscilla, which focuses on Priscilla Presley’s perspective on their relationship.
  • The film has received positive reviews for its portrayal of first love turned toxic relationship, although the Elvis estate has criticized its portrayal of Graceland.
  • The Elvis estate also likely disapproves of the movie due to the depiction of the age gap between Elvis and Priscilla, as well as his substance abuse, infidelity, and emotional abuse. Coppola aimed to present Priscilla’s story honestly.



Priscilla director Sofia Coppola clarifies the film’s representation of Elvis Presley, stating that she “never wanted to vilify” him. Released in theaters everywhere on November 3, the new film primarily follows Priscilla Presley’s perspective in her relationship with Elvis, based on her 1985 memoir Elvis and Me. Priscilla has received positive reviews, especially for Cailee Spaeny and Jacob Elordi’s lead performances, though there are some, mainly the Elvis estate, who take issue with the film’s depiction of the iconic King of Rock and Roll.

During a recent interview with Total Film (via GamesRadar+), Coppola clarified the Priscilla movie’s representation of Elvis Presley, stating that she “never wanted to vilify” him. The writer-director spoke a lot with Priscilla Presley while preparing the movie, and the filmmaker’s primary objective was to focus on her side of the story. Read Coppola’s full comments below:

I spoke to her a lot as I was preparing it. She made herself available. It was important for me that she felt good about it, and that it represented what she was trying to express. So that was a challenge: how do I make what I want to make, but also make sure that it respects her, and is telling her story? I never wanted to vilify (Elvis). There were fun moments, and they loved each other, and then there’s dark moments, and how to balance that, so that it wasn’t too much one way. I tried not to think about all the other opinions. I really just focused on her story.

Related: Priscilla Ending Explained

The Priscilla Movie Backlash Explained

Based on the positive reviews, Priscilla succeeds in providing a portrait of first love that, combined with fame, quickly devolves into a toxic relationship plagued with isolation and ultimately heartbreak. But before Priscilla was even released, the Elvis estate publicly slammed Coppola’s film as “horrific,” primarily criticizing its inaccurate portrayal of Graceland, Elvis’ estate. However, Priscilla Presley herself doesn’t share that opinion and, as an executive producer, has largely been supportive of Coppola’s film that focuses on her perspective, anchored by Spaeny’s tender performance.

There are many other likely reasons why the Elvis estate disapproves of the Priscilla movie, with its central age gap being chief among them. Elvis was 24 when he began dating a 14-year-old Priscilla. Coppola’s film doesn’t shy away from that fact, and the Elvis estate is likely concerned about the late icon’s image being tarnished. The movie also depicts his substance abuse, infidelity, and emotional abuse – much of which Priscilla writes about in her memoir. The result is a lot less glorifying than Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis, though Coppola’s primary objective was to present Priscilla’s story as honestly as possible.

Priscilla is now playing in theaters everywhere.

Source: Total Film (via GamesRadar+)

  • Priscilla 2023 Movie Poster


    Release Date:

    Sofia Coppola

    Cailee Spaeny, Jacob Elordi, Dagmara Dominczyk

    Not Yet Rated

    110 Minutes

    Biography, Drama, Music

    Sofia Coppola, Priscilla Presley

    The Apartment Pictures, American Zoetrope


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *