Sofia Coppola's 'Priscilla' Movie Wasn't Granted Permission to Use Elvis Presley's Music

"But that made us be more creative," said the director

Sofia Coppola's Priscilla film won't have Elvis Presley's music on its soundtrack.

The latest movie from the writer/director, 52, is Priscilla, a Priscilla Presley biopic that chronicles her relationship with the famous musician, as adapted from Priscilla's 1985 memoir Elvis and Me.

Despite Elvis being a large part of the story, Coppola said in a joint interview with Priscilla, 78, for The Hollywood Reporter that she was turned down by Elvis Presley Enterprises when she requested permission to use the King of Rock and Roll's music for her film.

According to the director, the powers that be who own Elvis's music "don’t like projects that they haven’t originated, and they’re protective of their brand."

“But that made us be more creative," Coppola added. Per THR, the director's husband Thomas Mars contributed much of the music for the film via is band Phoenix, including a Frankie Avalon "Venus" cover.

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<p>Philippe Le Sourd/A24</p> Jacob Elordi and Cailee Spaeny in <em>Priscilla</em> (2023)

Philippe Le Sourd/A24

Jacob Elordi and Cailee Spaeny in Priscilla (2023)

Related: Priscilla Presley Is 'So Nervous' for People to See Her Life Story in New Film: I 'Pray That They Get It'

Priscilla stars Cailee Spaeny in the title role, while Euphoria actor Jacob Elordi portrays Elvis, just over a year after Austin Butler turned heads as the rock-and-roll icon in Baz Luhrmann's Elvis, which did feature his music.

The latter film, which also saw Olivia DeJonge as Priscilla, was nominated for eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Actor for Butler, 32.

As for the new movie, Priscilla admitted during her and Coppola's chat with THR that she's "so nervous" for audiences to see Priscilla, "because it’s my life."

“The people who are watching, they’re living it with you, and you hope and pray that they get it. They get your feelings, your hurts, your sensitivity," she added.

<p>Melodie McDaniel</p> Priscilla Presley and Sofia Coppola on the cover of <em>The Hollywood Reporter</em>

Melodie McDaniel

Priscilla Presley and Sofia Coppola on the cover of The Hollywood Reporter

Related: Priscilla Presley 'Excited' for Sofia Coppola's 'Priscilla' Biopic: It'll Be an 'Emotional Journey'

Coppola, who was developing Priscilla when she learned about Luhrmann's movie, told THR that she felt it was "even better, in a way, that people are looking at [Elvis's] story."

"He’s so much in the culture always, but even more so now," she added. "It’s interesting, then, to look at Priscilla’s perspective.”

The filmmaker also explained why she battled to keep a non-budget-friendly scene involving a fire on Graceland property, started by Elvis.

“I just hung on to it till the bitter end because it says so much about being in his world, his eccentric way of living, all his whims," Coppola said.

Priscilla will make its world premiere at the Venice International Film Festival on Sept. 4, before debuting in theaters Oct. 27.

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