“My father only comes across as a predator and manipulative,” Lisa Marie wrote to Sofia, 52, in a September 2022 email, which was published by Variety on Thursday, November 2. “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 continued to express her concerns in a second email. She told the Virgin Suicides director that she would “be forced” to “openly say how I feel about the film and go against you, my mother and this film publicly” if Sofia decided to move forward with the project.
She went on to note that her mother, Priscilla Presley, “isn’t seeing the nuance here or realizing the way in which Elvis will be perceived when this movie comes out.” Lisa Marie added, “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.”
Variety also revealed how Sofia responded to Lisa Marie’s concerns. “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,” the Marie Antoinette director wrote, according to the outlet.
The “I’ll Figure It Out” singer sent the emails before she suddenly died in January after suffering a cardiac arrest at the age of 54. “
“It is with a heavy heart that I must share the devastating news that my beautiful daughter, Lisa Marie, has left us,” Priscilla, 78, said in a statement to People while confirming her daughter’s death. “She was the most passionate, strong and loving woman I have ever known. We ask for privacy as we try to deal with this profound loss. Thank you for the love and prayers. At this time there will be no further comment.”
Sofia wrote, directed and produced Priscilla, which tells the story of Elvis and Priscilla’s love story. The film was inspired by Priscilla’s 1985 memoir, Elvis and Me, which recounts the tumultuous relationship from her perspective. Their relationship has been met with controversy, as Elvia was 24 and Priscilla was 14 when they started dating.
Cailee Spaeny stars in the film as Priscilla, and Jacob Elordi took on the role of Elvis.
While Lisa Marie clearly didn’t want the film to be made, Priscilla has been supportive of the project. While attending the premiere in September at the Venice International Film Festival, she said that Sofia “did an amazing job” and “really put everything out for her that I could.”
Sofia also explained that she wanted to tell the story from both Elvis and Priscilla’s perspectives during a press conference promoting the film at the festival. “To me it’s a human story,” she explained, per Vulture. “I wanted to show both sides, the reality of the romance and the illusion.”
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