The King of Rock ‘n’ Roll

Picture credits: Elvis poster

Picture credits: Elvis poster

Unusual dance moves. Intense eyeliner. Bright colors. Elvis Presley’s captivating presence took the music industry—and the world—by storm throughout the 60s and 70s. Now, Warner Bros. has reignited the star’s popularity after releasing its ‘Elvis’ movie in theaters in June 2022.  

“They [the audience] talk a lot to me [about the movie]. They say feedback like ‘very accurate’ and ‘I will have to see that again,’” Everett Johnson, junior and Cherokee 16 Cinemas employee, said. 

The biopic (a movie depicting the life of a public figure) detailed Presley’s unexpected rise to stardom and the challenges he faced along the way. A true story, it delves into the African American roots of the musical genre that Presley popularized, along with the complicated relationship he maintained with his manager, Colonel Tom Parker. Throughout his career, Presley’s journey and state of happiness was heavily influenced by one of the most important people in his life: Priscilla, the mother of his child.  

“I think that, at the beginning of their relationship, Elvis truly cared about Priscilla, but as his fame grew, he started to lose sight of himself and how he felt about her, creating a rift in their relationship,” Bella Jurs, senior, said. 

Director Baz Luhrmann was praised for the film’s accuracy, as he did extensive research in Memphis, Tennessee and Elvis’ birthplace of Tupelo, Mississippi; he also poured over numerous biographies. Additionally, the movie was recognized for the cast’s dedication to making it as historically accurate as possible. Actor Austin Butler, playing the role of Presley, spent two years studying Elvis to prepare for the position. Due to his extensive preparation, Butler has been noted to still sometimes speak in his ‘Elvis’ accent during interviews.  

“My big goal right from the beginning was not to become a caricature of him. There are so many people out there who have their own Elvis voice, and you realize that most of those are caricatures (…) For me, it was just trying to find out who he was as a man, to humanize him and connect to him on that level,” Butler said in an interview with Entertainment Weekly Magazine. 

Having sold over one billion records, Presley continues to hold a strong influence on today’s music. Watch the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll in action on Amazon Prime and in theaters nationwide.