Lisa Marie Slammed New Elvis Film's 'Vengeful' Script

Singer's late daughter didn't like how he was depicted in Sofia Coppola's 'Priscilla,' per 'Variety'
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 3, 2023 3:40 PM CDT
Lisa Marie Dissed Sofia Coppola Script for Priscilla
Lisa Marie Presley is seen on June 21, 2022, at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles.   (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)

Priscilla Presley has been making headlines this week for her recent sit-down with Piers Morgan, in which she broke down while talking about her daughter, Lisa Marie Presley, who died in January at the age of 54. Now, Lisa Marie is the one dominating the news, with a report on what she thought before she died of the script for Priscilla, the new biopic opening Friday about her mom and dad, Elvis Presley, directed by Sofia Coppola. In short—Lisa Marie didn't like it, specifically regarding how her father was portrayed, per emails seen by Variety.

In the pair of back-to-back messages sent in September by Lisa Marie to Coppola, four months before her death, Presley pleaded with the director to rework her depiction of Elvis, noting that she and her young twin daughters had been "drowning" since her divorce to their dad, Michael Lockwood, and the 2020 suicide of her son, Benjamin Keough, at the age of 27. "My father only comes across as a predator and manipulative," Presley wrote. "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." Instead, Lisa Marie noted, "I read this and see your shockingly vengeful and contemptuous perspective and I don't understand why."

She added that unless changes were made, "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." She noted that she felt "protective" of her mom, who's been vocal about liking the movie, and that "I am worried she doesn't understand the intentions behind this film or the outcome it will have." The movie is based on Priscilla Presley's 1985 memoir, Elvis and Me. Coppola's goal with the film was to tell the Presleys' love story from Priscilla's point of view, per People, and a source tells Variety that efforts had been made to "tone down" some of the more eyebrow-raising parts of the book in the movie.

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A rep for Coppola responded to Variety using the same message Coppola is said to have written back to Presley at the time of her emails, noting, "I hope that when you see the final film you will feel differently, and understand I'm taking great care in honoring your mother, while also presenting your father with sensitivity and complexity." Coppola also recently said at a roundtable chat, per "It was really important that I felt that Priscilla felt that her story was represented in a way that was true to her." (More Lisa Marie Presley stories.)

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