Lisa Marie Presley, famously the only daughter of Elvis Presley and Priscilla Presley, died at 54 years old earlier this year on January 12. We learned she suffered from a small bowel obstruction, and her death was confirmed by her mother Priscilla in a statement. "It is with a heavy heart that I must share the devastating news that my beautiful daughter Lisa Marie has left us," Priscilla wrote.
The Presley family has once again been thrust into the spotlight 11 months after Lisa Marie’s death in Sofia Coppola’s new biopic “Priscilla,” but new reports out of Hollywood suggest that Lisa Marie was none too happy about Coppola’s script (based off Priscilla’s own 1985 memoir) which draws attention to the massive age gap between Elvis and Priscilla, and paints Elvis as a groomer.
Variety has reportedly obtained two emails sent from Lisa Marie four months before her passing, where she slammed Coppola’s script, calling it, “shockingly vengeful and contemptuous.”
“My father only comes across as a predator and manipulative. 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. I read this and see your shockingly vengeful and contemptuous perspective and I don’t understand why?” Lisa Marie wrote to Coppola in September of 2022. The script focuses heavily on the beginning of the pairs courtship which began when Priscilla was 14 and Elvis was 24.
“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,” Lisa Marie then wrote, suggesting she would go to the media to publicly slam the film in an attempt to smear it.
Variety reports that Coppola responded with, 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.”
Lisa Marie’s criticism of “Priscilla” comes in stark contrast to how she felt about Baz Luhrmann’s musical biopic “Elvis” from 2022. Taking to her social media at the time, Lisa Marie wrote in part, “I do want to take a moment to let you know that I have seen Baz Luhrmann's movie ‘Elvis’ twice now, and let me tell you that it is nothing short of spectacular. Absolutely exquisite.”
She gushed, “Austin Butler channeled and embodied my father’s heart and soul beautifully. In my humble opinion, his performance is unprecedented and FINALLY done accurately and respectfully.”
She continued, “You can feel and witness Baz’s pure love, care, and respect for my father throughout this beautiful film, and it is finally something that myself and my children and their children can be proud of forever.”
It is that “respectfully” comment that now can be seen in a new light as Lisa Marie was very concerned that Coppola’s script didn’t honour or respect her late father.
Lisa Marie’s September emails continued to lambast the “Lost In Translation” director for her lack of care or respect, especially when it came to mother Priscilla and her supposed inability to see the flaws of the script. “I am worried that my mother isn’t seeing the nuance here or realizing the way in which Elvis will be perceived when this movie comes out,” she wrote to Coppola. “I feel protective over my mother who has spent her whole life elevating my father’s legacy. I am worried she doesn’t understand the intentions behind this film or the outcome it will have.”
Alluding to Coppola’s own famous family, which includes Nicolas Cage, Lisa Marie’s ex-husband, Lisa Marie wrote, “I would think of all people that you would understand how this would feel. Why are you coming for my Dad and my family?”
Variety reports the emails were shared with Priscilla Presley, as well as Lisa Marie daughter, Riley Keough.
Her scathing critique reportedly ended with Lisa Marie not understanding Coppola’s “need to attempt to take my father down on the heels of such an incredible film [Baz Luhrmann’s ‘Elvis’) using the excuse that you are trying to tell my mother’s story, but from your very dark and jaded reality.”
“Priscilla” opens in Canada today, November 3, across the country.