Riley Keough, the granddaughter of Elvis Presley, took the stage during the MTV Movie & TV Awards on Sunday to present a teaser for the upcoming Baz Luhrmann biopic about the legendary performer. “In 1954, a young man from Mississippi walked into sun records and change music forever. That man was my grandfather. And though I never got the chance to meet him, I grew up in a world that had been profoundly shaped by his existence,” Keough said.
“To capture an iconic figure like Elvis, but thankfully, the visual genius Baz Luhrmann was up to the task,” she added. “Seeing my family history brought to life through Austin Butler’s mesmerizing performance was an incredibly emotional experience and I feel honored to have this story in his hands.”
— Movie & TV Awards (@MTVAwards) June 6, 2022
Keough then shared a never-before-seen clip of the film, which gave viewers a look at Butler’s portrayal and Luhrmann’s distinctive visual style through one of Presley’s most significant and memorable concert performances. Keough then introduced Diplo and Swae Lee performing “Tupelo Shuffle” from the film’s upcoming soundtrack following the clip.
Elvis stars Austin Butler as the “Viva Las Vegas” singer and Olivia DeJonge as Priscilla Presley, Keough’s grandmother. The movie focuses on Elvis and his relationship with manager Colonel Parker, played by Tom Hanks.
Elvis’ surviving family members have expressed their approval of the film before its release. Lisa Marie Presley, Riley’s mother, spoke highly of the film after attending a screening in May, calling it “nothing short of spectacular.”During the Variety Women in Motion panel at the Cannes Film Festival, where her directorial debut, War Pony, was screened, Keough said watching the film was “a very emotional experience.”
“I started crying 5 minutes in and didn’t stop,” the actress and director said. “There’s a lot of family trauma and generational trauma that started around then for our family,” she continued. “I felt honored they worked so hard to really get his essence, to feel his essence. Austin captured that so beautifully.”
Priscilla, 76, gave the film her stamp of approval with an Instagram post earlier this month, in which she said Lisa Marie, 54, is happy with how the drama turned out.”I’ve seen Elvis the film, I watched the trailer over a dozen times,” Priscilla began the caption of her post, which included a trailer for the movie. “But the words I heard from my daughter on how much she loved the film and that Riley will love it too when she sees it brought tears.”
Priscilla stated that she “relived every moment” in the movie, but it took her a few days to recover, “as it did with Lisa.” Adding her praise for director Luhrmann, 59, and the film’s stars, she called the project “beautifully done.”