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Priscilla, Lisa Marie Presley praise 'Elvis'; Elvis' last partner Linda cries foul for no mention

Kristofer Purnell - Philstar.com
Priscilla, Lisa Marie Presley praise 'Elvis'; Elvis' last partner Linda cries foul for no mention
Austin Butler as the titular character in "Elvis"
Warner Bros. Ent.

MANILA, Philippines — "Elvis," the biopic about the "King of Rock 'n Roll" portrayed by Austin Butler, has been receiving praises since premiering at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival, and it has translated into huge numbers at the box office.

The movie directed by Baz Luhrmann pulled in $30.5 million (P1.67 billion) in its opening weekend in North America, tying with the returns of "Top Gun: Maverick," which remains strong in its fifth week and broke the $1 billion mark — a first for a Tom Cruise film.

Analyst David A. Gross of Franchise Entertainment Research said that such numbers by "Elvis" is nearly double the average for the musical biography genre, "This is the Baz Luhrmann show, a music, dance and sex appeal spectacular — it's a hit."

Luhrmann has been receiving congratulations for his take on Elvis Presley, but the responses he considers the most valuable were those from the late singer's family.

Related: How The King entered and left the building: 'Elvis' movie review

Elvis' daughter Lisa Marie emotionally told the director upon seeing the movie that she "can’t put a value on it... everything from now on," which Luhrmann took as very meaningful.

On Instagram, Lisa called the film "Nothing short of spectacular. Absolutely exquisite," and that Butler channeled and embodied her father’s heart and soul beautifully.

Elvis' ex-wife Priscilla, played by Olivia DeJonge in the film, had seen "Elvis" prior to its Cannes premiere and said it was "beautifully done." At Cannes itself, Priscilla was seen hugging Luhrmann and wiping away tears during a standing ovation.

"The words I heard from my daughter [Lisa] on how much she loved the film and that Riley (her granddaughter) will love it too when she sees it brought tears," Priscilla wrote on Instagram. "I relived every moment in this film. It took me a few days to overcome the emotions as it did with Lisa."

In an interview for Good Morning America, Priscilla said she wished Elvis himself could see the movie, even saying he'd call it "perfection."

As for Butler's portrayal, Priscilla shared that he was just unbelievable, "As I was watching it, actually, I was going, 'Wow, this is a movie that he would have really loved.' Showing who he was, what he was striving for, what his dreams were."

Elvis and Priscilla got married in 1967, had their only child Lisa Marie a year later, and were divorced in 1972.The two remained close until the singer's death in 1977.

Meanwhile, actress and beauty queen Linda Thompson, who was in a four-year relationship with the "King" after he split with Priscilla, said of the film, “I haven’t seen it yet. The trailer looks very entertaining and Austin Butler appears to do a fantastic depiction."

She, however, was reportedly sad because she toured with Elvis and was with him almost until his last days.

"But since so many people are left out who were very important and instrumental in Elvis’ life – I wouldn’t call it a biopic," she said.

"I spent four-and-a-half years of my life living with and deeply caring for Elvis on many levels. I shared a hospital room with him every time he was in hospital," she recalled.

“I had my own bed next to his during those times... I literally saved his life on several occasions.

"I traveled on every tour with him. I was the only woman to ever do so in this life. I was at every Las Vegas engagement during those years."

Linda, now 72, met Elvis when she was 22 at a private film screening. They allegedly broke up because of Elvis's crazy showbiz lifestyle. But they stayed in touch and she was even the first one Lisa Marie called when Elvis was found dead in his bathroom on August 16. 1977.

"We stayed in touch and loved each other until the day he died – even though we had broken up and I had moved out of Graceland only eight months before.

"So any inclusion or exclusion in any movie ever made can never erase the important role I played in his life and he in mine. But every true fan already knows that. Thank you all for your loyalty."

She then married Olympic gold-winning decathlete Bruce Jenner in Hawaii in 1981. They have two sons, Brody, now 38, and Brandon, 41.

Bruce and Linda called it quits in 1986. Bruce then married Kris Jenner, mother of reality stars Kim, Khloe and Kourtney Kardashian, in 1991.

"Elvis" is out in theaters now. — Reports from AFP

RELATED: 'Acting through song': How Austin Butler transformed into the King of Rock and Roll for 'Elvis'

AUSTIN BUTLER

BAZ LUHRMANN

ELVIS

ELVIS PRESLEY

LISA MARIE PRESLEY

PRISCILLA PRESLEY

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