When Sofia Coppola’s Priscilla Presley biopic, Priscilla, premieres in October, don’t expect to hear any crooning from Elvis. Instead, The Hollywood Reporter reveals, The Ramones’ cover of The Ronettes’ “Baby, I Love You” will open the film—and the rest of the movie will not feature a single song from the King.
Given Coppola’s flair for anachronistic touches in films like Marie Antoinette, the lack of Presley songs in Priscilla isn’t necessarily an issue. According to THR, the band Phoenix—fronted by Coppola’s husband, Thomas Mars—will contribute “a lot of the music.” Still, the idiosyncrasy speaks to the complexities underpinning Elvis’ legacy, which has been the subject of much dispute over the past few months.
The battle over Elvis Presley’s estate began after the sudden death of his and Priscilla’s daughter, Lisa Marie, who died in January at age 54. Although Elvis and Priscilla divorced after six years, THR notes that the two “remained close until he died in 1977, and she has been a key figure in shaping Elvis’ legacy.” In 1982, five years after Elvis’ death, Priscilla opened Graceland to the public—bolstering his estate as a money-making enterprise in the process.
Earlier this year, Priscilla disputed court documents that made her granddaughter, Daisy Jones & The Six star Riley Keough, the sole trustee of her late ex-husband’s estate. The two women have since settled the dispute, and Priscilla told THR that she and her granddaughter are on good terms.
“We were never not on good terms,” she said. “That was all publicity. This is private and this is not something to fool around with and say that we’re not agreeing. In fact, I’m having dinner with [Riley] tonight. We understand what needs to be done. I’m there for her. She knows that. She wants me there for her to help her.”
According to THR, Coppola requested the rights to use Elvis’ music from Elvis Presley Enterprises—only 15 percent of which the Presley family owns—but was turned down. (As the trade notes, Authentic Brands Group controls the other 85 percent.)
“They don’t like projects that they haven’t originated, and they’re protective of their brand,” Coppola said about the rejection. “But that made us be more creative.”