Pricilla Presley didn’t have to check into the Heartbreak Hotel after watching Baz Luhrmann’s ELVIS, as the ex-wife of Elvis Presley said the film, and its lead actor, Austin Butler, did the “Blue Suede Shoes” singer right. “For those curious about the new film ELVIS, Baz Luhrmann, the director, provided a private screening for me and [Elvis associate] Jerry Schilling at Warner studios recently,” Priscilla, 76, posted to her Facebook page on Apr. 29. “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. Austin Butler, who played Elvis, is outstanding.”
“Halfway through the film, Jerry and I looked at each other and said WOW!!! Bravo to him…he knew he had big shoes to fill,” Priscilla added about Austin, 30. She also praised Tom Hanks, who took on the role of Colonel Tom Parker, Elvis’s longtime manager. “What a character he was,” Priscilla added about Col. Parker. “There were two sides to Colonel. Jerry and I witnessed both. 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 married Elvis in 1967 in a Las Vegas ceremony. Though she has become synonymous with “The King,” she and Elvis were only married for five years. The couple separated in 1972 and finalized their divorce the following year. Despite that split, the two remained close. They raised their daughter, Lisa Marie Presley, together until Elvis died in 1977. Afterward, Priscilla became the chairwoman and president of Elvis Presley Enterprises (EPE), which saw her turn Elvis’s Graceland home into the tourist attraction it is today.
The Elvis trailer dropped in February, with fans getting their first glimpse of Baz’s take on the Elvis Presley story (and of Austin as a young Elvis.) “I always avoid getting in and heralding the work we’re doing before we do it, but during the testing process, [Austin’s] commitment, his transformative abilities from the young Elvis to beyond, he had been playing so very well,” Baz told Deadline in a 2020 interview. “He was terrific. There was such great energy and excitement in the cast and company about the show we were about to shoot.”Click to Subscribe to Get Our Free HollywoodLife Daily Newsletter to get the hottest celeb news.