Priscilla Presley has given her seal of approval to a new biopic about Elvis Presley.
The 76-year-old recently took to Facebook and praised director Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis, which will premiere at the Cannes Film Festival next month before Warner Bros. brings the film to theaters on June 24.
The Naked Gun actress said she saw the film with Jerry Schilling, her late ex-husband’s longtime boyfriend, and was impressed that Austin Butler took on the title role.
“The story is about the relationship between Elvis and Colonel Parker,” Presley wrote. “It’s a brilliantly and creatively told true story that only Baz could have delivered with his unique artistry. Austin Butler, who played Elvis, is outstanding.”
“Halfway through the movie Jerry and I looked at each other and said WOW!!!” she shared. “Bravo to him… he knew he had big shoes to fill. He was extremely nervous about playing the role. I can only imagine.”
Presley also recalled meeting Elvis’ manager Col. Tom Parker, played by Tom Hanks.
“What a character he was,” she mused. “Colonel had two sides, Jerry and I saw both. As we all know, the story does not have a happy ending. But I think you will understand a little more of Elvis’ journey, written by a director who put his heart and soul and many hours into this film.”
Presley said “I do” to Elvis in 1967. They welcomed a daughter named Lisa Marie Presley the following year. The couple eventually called it quits and their divorce was finalized in 1973. The singer died in 1977 at the age of 42.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Butler beat out numerous contenders for the role of King, including Harry Styles, Ansel Elgort, Miles Teller, and others.
In a statement released by Warner Bros., Luhrmann explained his decision to cast the 30-year-old by saying he “clearly knew” he was perfect for the role.
“I knew I couldn’t do this film unless the cast was absolutely right, and we searched diligently for an actor capable of capturing the unique natural movements and vocal qualities of this incomparable star, but also the artist’s inner vulnerability to evoke,” said the 59-year-old.
“Throughout the casting process, it was an honor for me to encounter so much talent,” the “Moulin Rouge!” director shared. “I had heard of Austin Butler through his starring role opposite Denzel Washington in ‘The Iceman Cometh’ on Broadway, and through a journey of extensive screen testing and music and performance workshops, I knew unequivocally that I had found someone who could embody that spirit, one of the most famous musician figures in the world.”
Presley previously shared that Lana Del Rey, who was rumored to be portrayed in the upcoming film, would be an appropriate choice. Australian actress Olivia DeJonge landed the role.