Elvis Presley’s late daughter Lisa Marie was delighted with Baz Luhrmann’s biopic about her superstar father, but she expressed reservations about the forthcoming film focused on her mother, newly viewed emails reveal.
Variety reports that, four months before her death this January, Lisa Marie was moved to write to the director of Priscilla, Sofia Coppola, to slam the script as “vengeful and contemptuous.”
More from Deadline
The film, distributed by A24 and out now in the US, is based on Priscilla’s 1985 memoir Elvis and Me, and has Priscilla listed as an executive producer.
The story focuses on the couple’s first meeting in Germany, when Elvis was 24 and Priscilla 14 years old, and Lisa Marie thought the original script cast her father in a bad light.
“My father only comes across as a predator and manipulative,” Lisa Marie said, according to emails dated September 2022, seen by Variety.
“As his daughter, I don’t read this and see any of my father in this character. I don’t read this and see my mother’s perspective of my father.
“I read this and see your shockingly vengeful and contemptuous perspective and I don’t understand why?”
According to Variety, in the emails Lisa Marie also warned Coppola that she would publicly criticise the film and her own mother.
“I will be forced to be in a position where I will have to openly say how I feel about the film and go against you, my mother and this film publicly.”
Coppola replied to the emails, saying she would be treating both main subjects with care, and hoped Lisa Marie would change her mind once she had seen the movie. Variety quotes insiders on the project as confirming certain elements were toned down before filming began, with a reported ten pages trimmed from the script.
Lisa Marie added that she could not understand Coppola’s “need to attempt to take my father down on the heels of such an incredible film using the excuse that you are trying to tell my mother’s story, but from your very dark and jaded reality.”
Baz Luhrmann’s biopic Elvis was a critical and commercial triumph on its release in 2022. Austin Butler was Oscar-nominated for his title role, and the movie garnered $288million at the global box office.
Best of Deadline