After Baz Luhrmann’s thorough 2022 biographical music drama Elvis earned Austin Butler an Academy Award nod for his role as the late icon, a new, more poetic investigation of the era is here with Oscar-winning writer and director Sofia Coppola’s Priscilla. As the title suggests, the A24 produced film will focus on Presley’s wife, Priscilla Presley, who famously met Elvis when she was still in high school in 1959.
Based on Priscilla’s best-selling 1985 memoir Elvis and Me, the film follows her life and relationship with Elvis, from their first meeting to marrying and having their daughter, Lisa Marie, together. Cailee Spaeny (Mare of Easttown) stars as Priscilla, while Jacob Elordi (Euphoria) plays Elvis.
In a trailer for Priscilla, released October 3, a baby-faced Priscilla is scouted by one of Elvis’ men. As the pair meet and fall in love, Elvis changes the way Priscilla dresses, turning the 14-year-old school girl into an older-looking woman with her now-signature cat eye and oversized hairdo. At one point, Priscilla’s father is her saying off-screen, “Just what is the intent here Mr. Presley? You’ve got women throwing themselves at you. Why my daughter?” Before Elvis answers, “Sir, I happen to be very fond of your daughter. She’s much more mature than her age.”
There are scenes of the megawatt life the pair had together, and in several, Priscilla cradles infant daughter Lisa Marie. Eventually, the clip devolves into the darker parts of Elvis and Priscilla’s relationship, with hints of cheating, drug abuse and blowout fights. “I want a life of my own,” Priscilla says at the end.
Elvis died suddenly at the age of 42 at his Graceland estate; Priscilla, now 77 is alive and well and had nothing but praise for both Luhrmann’s interpretation of her late husband’s life, and Coppola’s telling of her own story. Lisa Marie died suddenly in January at the age of 54; she’s survived by her mother and her daughter, Riley Keough.
For W’s Originals Issue, cover star Coppola spoke about her interest in telling Priscilla’s story and the relatable parallels she found when reading her memoir. “In my 20s, I remember having a crush on a guy, and part of it was, if I was with him, then I wouldn’t have to develop an identity of my own: I could just be the girlfriend of this guy, and that would be so much easier,” she said. “I was devastated when that relationship didn’t work out. But it forced me to find my own personality, and that’s a similar story to what happened with Priscilla—she lost herself in Elvis.”
The film also has dazzling fashion; Coppola’s longtime costume designer (and former W style assistant) Stacey Battat put together 120 looks for Priscilla alone, including a custom-made Chanel wedding dress that replicates Priscilla’s iconic original gown.
Priscilla hits theaters on November 3. Watch the trailer below:
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