ALISON BOSHOFF: Priscilla Presley nets $1m to shoot film about marriage to Elvis 

She was moved to tears by Baz Luhrmann’s version of her late husband’s life story, but now Priscilla Presley is putting herself in the spotlight, after striking a deal for a movie to be made telling the story from her perspective.

The film, Priscilla, will be based on her best-selling 1985 memoir Elvis And Me.

Directed by Sofia Coppola, it will tell how she first met Elvis when she was 14, and initially conducted a ‘penpal’ romance with him while she was living in Germany and he was in America. 

When she was 17, she moved in with his parents. The couple were married — in Vegas — in 1967 when she was 22 (pictured), and divorced in 1973. Now, 50 years on, the tale is coming to the big screen. 

Sources describe the script, written by Coppola, as ‘intimate’ and say it offers a view which was not in the Elvis movie. ‘It’s a love story,’ I’m told. ‘It starts when they fall in love and ends when their love story ends.’

The couple were married — in Vegas — in 1967 when she was 22 (pictured), and divorced in 1973. Now, 50 years on, the tale is coming to the big screen

Priscilla said the marriage failed because the King, ten years her senior, wasn’t faithful. 

She eventually fell in love with a karate instructor, and left him. Priscilla’s role will be taken by newcomer Cailee Spaeny, who played single mum Erin in the acclaimed TV drama Mare Of Easttown. Euphoria star Jacob Elordi, an Australian, will play Elvis.

Filming on the picture will start imminently in Toronto. Director Coppola is also producing the project, in tandem with Lorenzo Miele of The Apartment (a Fremantle company) and A24. Charles Finch, the British publisher and producer, is also co-producing, through his Sony-based film company Standalone.

Presley, 77, is believed to have struck a $1 million deal for the rights to her book.

Priscilla said the marriage failed because the King, ten years her senior, wasn't faithful. She eventually fell in love with a karate instructor, and left him

Priscilla said the marriage failed because the King, ten years her senior, wasn’t faithful. She eventually fell in love with a karate instructor, and left him

Further revenue will pour into the Presley estate from licensing Elvis’s songs. It’s thought that the recent Warner Bros film, which starred Austin Butler and Tom Hanks, garnered as much as $20 million in music rights alone. (Colonel Parker, Elvis’s crafty manager, used to insist that he and his star got half the publishing rights — and subsequent royalties — on anything Presley recorded.)

Priscilla and Elvis’s daughter Lisa Marie is the music legend’s sole surviving heir.

Meanwhile, Elvis will be back on screen soon … as a cartoon. Netflix’s animated offering Agent King sees Presley trade in his jumpsuit for a jetpack. The series, created by Sony Pictures Animation, shows Elvis joining a secret government spy programme, while still carrying on with his day job. Character designer Rob Valley told an animation festival in Annecy, France, in June: ‘I wanted him to look adorable and dangerous.’

Priscilla Presley is an executive producer of the show. She said: ‘I worry about the scripts, because it’s an adult animation. So you’re leaving it to Sony and Netflix. Sometimes the script comes in and I go: ‘God, Elvis would never say that!’ ‘

She was moved to tears by Baz Luhrmann's version of her late husband's life story, but now Priscilla Presley is putting herself in the spotlight, after striking a deal for a movie to be made telling the story from her perspective

She was moved to tears by Baz Luhrmann’s version of her late husband’s life story, but now Priscilla Presley is putting herself in the spotlight, after striking a deal for a movie to be made telling the story from her perspective

Billie keen to carrie on acting 

Carrie Fisher's daughter Billie Lourd appears in Ticket To Paradise: the George Clooney/Julia Roberts romcom which has delayed its release until next week following the death of the Queen

Carrie Fisher’s daughter Billie Lourd appears in Ticket To Paradise: the George Clooney/Julia Roberts romcom which has delayed its release until next week following the death of the Queen

Carrie Fisher’s daughter Billie Lourd appears in Ticket To Paradise: the George Clooney/Julia Roberts romcom which has delayed its release until next week following the death of the Queen.

Lourd plays Wren, who’s best friends with Lily (Kaitlyn Dever), the daughter of Clooney and Roberts’ bickering divorced couple. The actress, whose father is American talent agent Bryan Lourd, describes herself as ‘the ultimate third-wheel queen’. 

‘I grew up with the funniest woman of all time — my mom! — and so not being funny would just mean that I was not accepted in my family. So I needed to be funny to survive.’

Lourd, who is expecting her second child, was previously in the film Booksmart; and has just been announced as the lead in a forthcoming comedy called & Mrs, alongside Aisling Bea.

Ticket To Paradise opens in cinemas on Tuesday.

Ben Kingsley makes a convincing Salvador Dali (pictured) in the film Daliland, which premieres tomorrow night at the Toronto International Film Festival. The film shows the artist as an old man, striving for relevance as he prepares to mount an exhibition. 

He’s supported by his muse and ‘spiritual wife’ Amanda Lear, who was by his side for 15 years — while he was terrorised by his actual wife Gala. Lear — a model, TV host and later pop singer — is played by model and trans woman Andreja Pejic, who says she has been a lifelong fan of the androgynous Lear.

Records appear to show Lear was born Alain Tap in Saigon; but she has previously denied being born male. Her eventful life story will surely be told in film one day — her lovers have included David Bowie and Bryan Ferry.

Ben Kingsley makes a convincing Salvador Dali (pictured) in the film Daliland, which premieres tomorrow night at the Toronto International Film Festival

Ben Kingsley makes a convincing Salvador Dali (pictured) in the film Daliland, which premieres tomorrow night at the Toronto International Film Festival

Michael Palin says he isn’t averse to having more adventures in dangerous places. The former Monty Python star has followed up a visit to North Korea with a trip around Iraq, for Channel 5 next week. 

‘We did consider going to Syria to make a series, before it was regarded as being too dangerous,’ Palin recalled. But added he would not rule it out in future. 

‘People said: ‘Don’t go to Iraq!’ But why? The war’s over there. We can’t just reject a country because it was once a warzone.’

Ford younger than ever at 80 

Harrison Ford first cracked that famous bullwhip as Indiana Jones back in 1981, and he promises that the forthcoming — fifth — instalment will be his last.

We don’t yet know what the film will be titled, but some are suggesting it should be called Indiana Jones And The Fountain Of Eternal Youth, because the actor, who is 80, has been digitally de-aged for at least some of the action.

The technology has advanced enormously — look at Robert DeNiro in The Irishman — but for Indiana Jones, Disney appear to have used motion capture technology which allows Ford to be portrayed on screen as a man in his 20s or 30s.

The star was snapped on set with dots on his face — and a stunt double was seen riding a horse through a tickertape parade in ‘New York’ (actually Glasgow). In the footage shown at D23 Expo in Florida last Saturday, the man on the horse was ‘young Indy’, and he was protecting his beatnik goddaughter Helena (Phoebe Waller-Bridge). 

The trailer has not yet been released online. Ford appeared a tad emotional when he said: ‘I’m very proud to say that this one is fantastic. Indiana Jones movies are about fantasy and mystery, but they’re also about heart. We have a really great story to tell, as well as a movie that will kick your ass.’

Harrison Ford first cracked that famous bullwhip as Indiana Jones back in 1981, and he promises that the forthcoming — fifth — instalment will be his last

Harrison Ford first cracked that famous bullwhip as Indiana Jones back in 1981, and he promises that the forthcoming — fifth — instalment will be his last

Marilyn lookalike fires the starting gun for the Oscars

And they’re off! With film festivals back at full power — Venice and Toronto have just finished, London’s wingding gets underway next month — the starting gun has been fired for the awards season.

Cate Blanchett is being tipped already to scoop another Best Actress Oscar for her starring role in Tar (she plays an orchestra conductor). And there is probably enough love for Ana de Armas in the film Blonde for her to want to stand by her phone when Oscar nominations are announced on January 24.

Some critics found the film problematic — but nobody quibbled with de Armas’s performance as legendary screen goddess Marilyn Monroe.

For the boys, Colin Farrell won at Venice for The Banshees Of Inisherin — which our critic Brian Viner said he wanted to award six stars out of five. And Brendan Fraser won in Toronto for his turn as a 600lb English professor in The Whale. It would be a big upset if the Academy ignored either of them.

Last year, Venice Volpi Cup winner Penelope Cruz went on to score an Oscar nomination.

Nobody quibbled with de Armas's performance as legendary screen goddess Marilyn Monroe

Nobody quibbled with de Armas’s performance as legendary screen goddess Marilyn Monroe

Winslet’s titanic dive for Avatar 

You would forgive Kate Winslet for refusing to ever get into a water tank again for director James Cameron. The star spent months shooting scenes for him in Titanic — and ended up with hypothermia for her pains.

However not a bit of it. The Oscar-winning actress positively thrived when shooting underwater scenes for Cameron’s Avatar sequel The Way Of Water.

She plays Ronal, one of a race of underwater beings closely related to the Na’vi.

Producer Jon Landau was in London yesterday to screen some footage and (very gently) start to beat the drums to promote his new sci-fi blockbuster. He told me: ‘Kate broke a free-diving record among the cast. It was six minutes 50-something — but for Kate we agreed to call it seven. She was phenomenal.’ Winslet was apparently particularly delighted to beat Tom Cruise, who famously performs his own stunts and managed a six-minute free dive while making Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation in 2015.

Young actress Bailey Bass plays Tsireya, Ronal’s daughter, in The Way Of Water. She said: ‘Kate holds the record — she set it during training. I managed six minutes and 30 seconds.’ All the cast went through dive training to prepare for the picture, which opens here on December 16.

The Oscar-winning actress positively thrived when shooting underwater scenes for Cameron's Avatar sequel The Way Of Water. She plays Ronal, one of a race of underwater beings closely related to the Na'vi

The Oscar-winning actress positively thrived when shooting underwater scenes for Cameron’s Avatar sequel The Way Of Water. She plays Ronal, one of a race of underwater beings closely related to the Na’vi

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