Priscilla Presley moved to tears as ‘Elvis’ biopic receives 12-minute standing ovation at Cannes


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The viewers on the Cannes Film Festival was trembling for Austin Butler because the King in Baz Luhrmann’s world premiere of “Elvis.”

The movie acquired an uproarious 12-minute standing ovation, the longest of this 12 months’s competition thus far.

Because the cheers went on and on, a teary-eyed Butler hugged an equally-emotional Priscilla Presley, who flew to the South of France to provide her blessing for the film about her late husband.

The Warner Bros. musical drama had Cannes spontaneously erupting into applause as Butler recreated a few of Presley’s biggest hits together with “Jailhouse Rock,” “Blue Suede Shoes” and “Suspicious Minds.”


Priscilla Presley attends the photocall for ‘Elvis’ during the 75th annual Cannes film festival at Palais des Festivals on May 26, 2022 in Cannes, France.

Priscilla Presley attends the photocall for ‘Elvis’ through the seventy fifth annual Cannes movie competition at Palais des Festivals on Could 26, 2022 in Cannes, France.
(Photograph by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Photos)

“Elvis” is likely one of the largest titles to display screen at Cannes, with a star-studded carpet that included Sharon Stone, Shakira, Kylie Minogue, Diplo, Jeremy O. Harris and Italian rock band Måneskin.

It wasn’t solely superstar energy lighting up the pink carpet, both: Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav ditched his Solar Valley uniform of chinos and tech vests and cleaned up in black tie — slicking his hair behind the ear, maybe as an homage to the King. The mogul walked the steps with tremendous producer Gail Berman, who shepherded Luhrmann’s newest, and was seated within the auditorium beside Butler’s girlfriend, mannequin Kaia Gerber. Warner Bros. Photos Group boss Toby Emmerich was additionally a part of the chief group on the bottom.

On the movie’s lush after-party, Zaslav was stunned by the reception to the movie. He informed Selection that the night prior, Butler screened the movie for the primary time, with girlfriend Gerber, and each have been in tears.

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The viewers on the Palais was notably enamored with actor Alton Mason, who performs Little Richard. In an earlier scene the place Presley events with fellow legend BB King, newcomer Mason dazzled with a efficiency of “Tutti Frutti,” full with acrobatic dance strikes. Mason, who started as a mannequin and dancer, earned mid-screening applause.


Austin Butler, who played Elvis Presley in the biopic, alongside Priscilla Presley at the Cannes Film Festival.

Austin Butler, who performed Elvis Presley within the biopic, alongside Priscilla Presley on the Cannes Movie Pageant.
(Photograph by Samir Hussein/WireImage)

With the viewers nonetheless on its ft, Luhrmann hugged his solid members and was clearly moved by the viewers’s heat reception of “Elvis.” Taking the mike whereas brushing tears from his eyes, he recalled his first expertise in Cannes for “Strictly Ballroom.”

“I’ve had a bit of an epiphany because 30 years ago, my wife and I made a little film called ‘Strictly Ballroom,’ but on our film we had one exhibitor who gave us one screen, and he saw the film and he left before it finished and said, ‘That is the worst film I have ever seen and you have ruined the career of [Pat Thomson],’ who played the mother.”

Continued Luhrmann: “Anyway, we went up the coast and I had very long hair and we were staying in a trailer park and I was saying, ‘This film thing is never going to work out,’ so I started shaving my hair off. And I got a call on the telephone and it was a French man, and I was holding a tin bucket above my head because the night before someone had been killed by a coconut that fell out of a tree. And on the phone, a voice said, ‘Hello, my name is [former festival director] Pierre Rissient, I am from the Cannes Film Festival, and we have seen your film and we would like to offer you a 12 o’clock screening in the Palais’…And at the end of the [screening in Cannes], I remember a security guard came over…and he grabbed me and said, ‘Monsieur, from this moment, your life will never be the same again.'”

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As he embraced present competition director Thierry Fremaux, Luhrmann stated that when COVID hit and “Elvis” was shut down, it felt prefer it was “never going to happen.”

Priscilla Presley and Elvis Presley were married from 1967 until 1973.

Priscilla Presley and Elvis Presley have been married from 1967 till 1973.
(Getty Photos)

“But for the bravery of [Tom Hanks] to come back, and the bravery of this cast and this crew to go on through COVID and to finish this film, and we are back in Cannes, and to see these streets so full of people who love movies, of every form of life and every background and every kind of movie, there’s so much more about what this place means and what it means to be back in the cinema. And for that, we are eternally grateful, Cannes. All I can say is: Merci beaucoup, merci beaucoup, merci beaucoup.”

Luhrmann’s movies are sometimes over-the-top and lavish affairs, which is precisely the vibe Warner Bros. delivered to the director’s “Elvis” world premiere on the Cannes Movie Pageant. The studio stunned premiere attendees with a live performance on the seaside following the movie’s debut screening.

Luhrmann launched visitor DJ Diplo, who debuted an unique tune from the “Elvis” soundtrack that includes Swae Lee and Butler. Italian glam rock band and Eurovision winner Måneskin additionally carried out its single from the soundtrack on the Majestic seaside membership bash, the place Butler and Gerber danced the evening away.

Additionally current on the get together was an envoy from the Walt Disney Firm, Peter Rice, chairman of Disney Normal Leisure Content material. He tipped his hat to Warner Bros. and likened the movie to “an aria.”

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The performance was preceded by an electrifying drone show with lights outlining Elvis’ determine, title and motto TCB, accompanied by music.

“Elvis” marks Luhrmann’s first function directorial effort since 2013’s “The Great Gatsby,” which additionally world premiered on the Cannes Movie Pageant. Butler stars within the title position reverse Tom Hanks as Elvis’ notorious supervisor Colonel Tom Parker; Olivia DeJonge as Priscilla; latest “The Power of the Dog” Oscar nominee Kodi Smit-McPhee as nation legend Jimmie Rodgers; Yola Quartey as Sister Rosetta Tharpe; and Kelvin Harrison Jr. as B.B. King.

Previous to the “Elvis” world premiere at Cannes, the film earned rave evaluations from three of the music icon’s members of the family: Priscilla Presley, Lisa Marie Presley, and granddaughter Riley Keough. Lisa Marie referred to as the movie “nothing short of spectacular,” including, “Austin channeled and embodied my father’s heart and soul beautifully. In my humble opinion, his performance is unprecedented and finally done accurately and respectfully. If he doesn’t get an Oscar for this, I will eat my own foot.”

Keough informed Selection at Cannes that she began crying inside the first 5 minutes of watching “Elvis,” including: “I could feel how much work Baz and Austin put into trying to get it right. That made me emotional immediately…I felt honored they worked so hard to really get his essence, to feel his essence. Austin captured that so beautifully.”

Warner Bros. is opening “Elvis” in U.S. theaters on June 24. The movie joined “Top Gun: Maverick” as the 2 Hollywood tentpoles to world premiere on the 2022 Cannes Movie Pageant.


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