In the months leading up to her untimely passing, Lisa Marie Presley expressed serious reservations about the portrayal of her father, Elvis Presley, in the upcoming biopic "Priscilla." As reported by Variety, Presley reached out to director Sofia Coppola via email to voice her concerns over what she perceived as a "shockingly vengeful and contemptuous" script.
The film, derived from the 1985 memoir "Elvis and Me" by Priscilla Presley, delves into the storied and often debated relationship between her parents, emphasizing their controversial age difference at the onset of their romance.
The discourse surrounding the script's early drafts reveals the depth of Lisa Marie's disapproval. In one of her emails dated September 2, 2022, the "Lights Out" singer questioned the script's narrative angle, underscoring her inability to recognize her father in the pages.
She contended that the portrayal skewed toward a predatory and manipulative image, starkly at odds with her memories and understanding of Elvis Presley. Her condemnation of the draft didn't just stem from familial loyalty but also from a protective instinct over the impact such a portrayal could have on her children, who were mourning the loss of their brother, Benjamin Keough.
Lisa Marie's Protective Plea
Lisa Marie's forewarning about potentially denouncing the film was a rare peek into the protective fervor she held for her family's legacy. Her hope was to shield her lineage from further public scrutiny, a sentiment that Coppola acknowledged in her response, expressing hope for a change of heart upon the film's completion.
Nevertheless, Lisa Marie's sudden death in January 2023 precluded any chance of reconciliation with the final version of "Priscilla," which had its premiere only weeks after she had passed. Production of the biopic went forward despite the correspondence, with Priscilla Presley's engagement as an executive producer—a point of contention noted by Lisa Marie in her communication, according to Page Six.
She believed that her mother was being taken advantage of in the process, a concern that has since become part of the narrative surrounding the film. "Priscilla" has now entered the limelight under a pall of familial controversy, and whether or not Coppola's vision aligns with historical accuracy or artistic license remains a point of contention among audiences and critics alike.
As the Presley legacy continues to fascinate the public, the conversation around representation and the stewardship of celebrity stories becomes increasingly relevant. This latest chapter in the saga of the King of Rock 'n' Roll will be scrutinized through a lens sharpened by his daughter's final public sentiments.