'Elvis': Everything the Presley Family Has Said About the Upcoming Biopic

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Celebrity biopics are a weighty task for the actor who takes on the role -- more so if the subject is a beloved icon who became perhaps even more famous after their untimely death. So it's no surprise that Austin Butler had more than a few nerves when it came time to take on the role of Elvis Presley in the upcoming Baz Luhrmann-directed biopic, Elvis

The actor dealt with his nerves by becoming nearly "obsessive" in his research for the role, learning all about Elvis' life, career, family, and even his iconic voice.

"I said, 'I'm just gonna drop everything and I'm gonna obsess. I'm going to allow myself to obsess,'" he recalled in a behind-the-scenes clip from the film. "And so I just started reading and watching everything I could on his life and on his friends and on his relationships and listened to only his music."

The other thing Butler had working in his favor as he tackled the daunting role was the support of Elvis' family. The King's wife, daughter and granddaughter -- Priscilla Presley, Lisa Marie Presley and Riley Keough -- have all spoken out in praise of the way Butler and Luhrmann told Elvis' story in the upcoming film, and how they appreciate the film as a new way to remember the late star.

Read on to see what each member of the music legend's family has had to say about the biopic -- and Butler's portrayal of Elvis himself.

Priscilla Presley

Austin Butler and Priscilla Presley
Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

Perhaps the most visible supporter of the biopic ahead of its premiere, Elvis' ex-wife was by Butler's side at the 2022 Met Gala, and then again at the Cannes Film Festival, where Elvis made its international debut. Her presence in support of the film would be praise enough, but Priscilla has also been vocal about much she enjoyed the biopic, in which she is played by Australian actress Olivia DeJonge.

Following her private viewing of Elvis, Priscilla couldn't help but share her honest review with fans on her official Facebook page, praising Butler for his "outstanding" performance as Elvis.

"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," Priscilla wrote. "Austin Butler, who played Elvis is outstanding."

"Halfway through the film Jerry [Schilling] and I looked at each other and said WOW!!! Bravo to him," she continued. "He knew he had big shoes to fill. He was extremely nervous playing this part. I can only imagine."

Priscilla also raved about how much she "loved" the movie during a red carpet interview with LaLa Anthony for Vogue'sMet Gala livestream. "I think the young generation is gonna see and know what Elvis is all about, and learn a little more about him."

Lisa Marie Presley

elvis presley priscilla presley lisa marie presley
GAB Archive/Redferns

Elvis' only child, Lisa Marie Presley, has kept a low profile in recent years, particularly following the tragic death of her son, Benjamin Keough, who died by suicide in July 2020.

However, Lisa Marie took to Instagram in May to share her thoughts on the Elvis biopic, raving about how much she and her children enjoyed it -- and how much Benjamin, who bore a striking resemblance to his late grandfather, would have "absolutely loved it" as well.

"Not much else aside from my other 3 children gets my time and attention anymore," Presley wrote, noting that she did, however, take the time to watch Elvis twice, calling the film "nothing short of spectacular."

"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. (If he doesn’t get an Oscar for this, I will eat my own foot, haha.)," Lisa Marie continued, adding that the film is something that she and her family -- including daughter Riley Keough and 13-year-old twins Harper and Finley -- "can be proud of forever," as they remember the rock 'n' roll legend.

"You can feel and witness Baz’s pure love, care, and respect for my father throughout this beautiful film," she stated. "What moved me to tears as well was watching Riley and Harper, and Finley afterwards, all 3 visibly overwhelmed in the best way possible way, and so filled with pride about their grandfather and his legacy in a way that I have not previously experienced."

In an interview with the New York Times, Butler later revealed that the positive response from Lisa Marie "brought me to tears."

“I want everybody to love the film, obviously, but the pressure I have really felt is doing justice to Elvis,” he shared.

Riley Keough 

Riley Keough
Rich Polk/Getty Images

Riley, the daughter of Lisa Marie Presley and her first husband, Danny Keough, has made a name for herself as an actress in her own right, but her praise for the film has come, first and foremost, as a member of her A-list family.

The actress was on hand to introduce an Elvis sneak peek at the MTV Movie & TV Awards earlier this month, where she took a moment to praise the film for telling the story of the grandfather she never got a chance to meet.

"In 1954, a young man from Mississippi walked into Sun Records and changed music forever. That man was my grandfather. And though I never got the chance to meet him, I grew up in a world that had been profoundly shaped by his existence," Keough shared.

"To capture an iconic figure like Elvis, thankfully, the visual genius Baz Luhrmann was up to the task," she continued. "Seeing my family history brought to life through Austin Butler's mesmerizing performance was an incredibly emotional experience and I feel honored to have this story in his hands."

Keough later shared a behind-the-scenes clip of Butler on the Elvis set, marveling at how well he did embodying her grandfather as he sang all of the "young Elvis" songs in the film.

"One of the most remarkable parts to me about @elvismovie that people may not know (because he’s done such an fantastic job) is that @austinbutler is singing all of the early Elvis vocals himself," Keough shared. "@bazluhrmann shared this clip today from an early screen test of Austin that I wanted to repost because what he was able to do is just so beautiful."

Elvis is in theaters June 24. See more on the movie in the video below.


Baz Luhrmann Confirms Austin Butler Sings All Young Elvis Songs In Mov

Riley Keough Introduces 'Elvis' Sneak Peek at MTV Movie & TV Awards

Austin Butler on Lisa Marie Presley's Reaction to 'Elvis' Film

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