How Accurate Is “Elvis”? What’s Real and What’s Not

Everett Collection / Warner Bros/Courtesy Everett Collection

Baz Luhrmann’s “Elvis” premiered on June 24, and fans finally got to see Austin Butler take on the titular role of the legendary singer. After hearing Butler’s voice transformation in interviews, seeing him pose with Priscilla Presley at the Met Gala, and watching him emulate Elvis Presley’s signature dance moves in the movie’s trailer, we couldn’t wait to see his portrayal. The movie focuses on the story of Elvis and his deceitful manager, Colonel Tom Parker, played by Tom Hanks, as well as Elvis’s relationship with Priscilla, played by Olivia DeJonge.

The movie is a signature Luhrmann fever dream – campy, overwhelming, and full of excess in everything from the costumes to the cinematography. It’s lots of fun, but such an over-the-top representation of a true story doesn’t always tell the whole truth. Some inaccuracies are pretty clear (like, obviously Doja Cat’s music didn’t exist in the 1950s), while other parts are hard to recognize unless you’re super familiar with Elvis’s story. That’s why experts on Elvis are clarifying what the movie got wrong – and what really happened. Ahead, find out the truth about Parker, Elvis and Priscilla’s marriage, and, of course, whether Elvis really fired his long-time manager in an onstage rant.

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