Sofia Coppola Reveals Presley Estate Turned Down Using Elvis Music for ‘Priscilla’

Sofia Coppola’s “Priscilla” won’t feature Elvis Presley music.

The film, written and directed by Coppola for A24, will not include Elvis songs due to the estate turning down involvement in the film. Coppola reached out to Elvis Presley Enterprises, which is majority-owned by Authentic Brands Group at 85 percent, with the Presley family owning the other 15 percent.

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“They don’t like projects that they haven’t originated, and they’re protective of their brand,” Coppola told The Hollywood Reporter of Elvis Presley Enterprises. “But that made us be more creative.”

Instead, the “Priscilla” soundtrack has Phoenix covers of classic songs, played by Coppola’s husband and band frontman Thomas Mars. To note, Baz Luhrmann’s Oscar-nominated “Elvis” did use Elvis Presley music approved by the estate.

“Priscilla” is adapted from Priscilla Presley’s memoir “Elvis and Me.” Cailee Spaeny plays Priscilla, with Jacob Elordi as Elvis. Priscilla is an executive producer on the film, which was made for less than $20 million. The film is set to premiere at the Venice Film Festival and later screen as the Centerpiece selection for the New York Film Festival.

Coppola told THR that the set design was key to transforming the Toronto-based production into Graceland, Las Vegas, and Germany in just 30 days.

“We talked about Graceland looking like a wedding cake. We wanted to have a real contrast between Germany and her arrival at Graceland,” Coppola said. “In Germany, it’s winter and gray. All the palettes of the clothes are muted. When she goes to Vegas and Graceland, it’s all very colorful and heightened, and exciting. It was almost like Oz when you first see the exterior of Graceland and the flowers are bright.”

Following the release of the teaser trailer for the film, the Elvis Presley estate issued a statement claiming they were unaware of “Priscilla” being produced. An estate official told TMZ that writer-director Coppola’s vision of Graceland is inaccurate, calling the first look at the film “like a college movie.”

The unnamed source said, “The set designs are just horrific, it’s not what Graceland looks like.”

In turn, Priscilla praised the film on Instagram, writing, “I am excited about the interpretation of my book by the masterful Sofia Coppola. She has such an extraordinary perspective and I have always been such an admirer of her work. I’m certain this movie will take everyone on an emotional journey.”

For all the details on “Priscilla,” click here.

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