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Jacob Elordi or Austin Butler: who is the best Elvis?

Jacob Elordi or Austin Butler? Who is more believable in the shoes of Elvis Presley? The challenge – it’s done for fun – is open. Both embodied the king of rock ‘n’ roll in cinema, both are modern-day teen idols, perfect for Generation Z: enough to kick off an all-media (or at least TikTok) competition.

Jacob Elordi is the second Elvis Sophia Coppola which focuses the story on the wife: the film Priscilla has just been presented, in competition, at the Venice Film Festival (the release date in Italian cinemas is not yet known). So Elordi-Elvis is not the protagonist, the point of view here is the female reverse shot of the young Priscilla, almost a child’s fiancée and then married in love and unhappy with Presley. There is no space in this film for Elvis’ musical performances, his character is told through the love story with Priscilla: the meeting in Germany, then the engagement and the transfer to graceland, a little love nest, a little golden cage (as in another film by Sofia Coppola, Marie Antoinette). Elordi embodies a Ambivalent Elvis, sweet and at the same time authoritarian, in love and unfaithful, respectful and capable of psychological violence. The star in private, here is all that interests Sofia Coppola, who explained at the press conference that she had thought of Elordi for this role because she is capable of best rendering all the psychological nuances of her character. It is certainly the cine-authorial twist that the actor needed to establish himself outside of Euphoriathe series that launched him as the tremendous Nate Jacobstoxic sex symbol for the younger generation.

Cailee Spaeny and Jacob Elordi in Priscilla by Sofia Coppola, in competition at the Venice Film Festival in 2023.

In the film of Baz Luhrmann Elvis, from 2022, Austin Butler instead gave body to Presley’s existential parable in the classic narrative paradigm of the star who arrives on the roof of the world and then falls disastrously: the beginnings, the dazzling success and then the decline and self-destruction. He is an adrenaline Elvis, at least in the first part of the film, the performance sequences are long, pyrotechnic and excessive in the typical Luhrman-style, all vital energy and sparks. In the film, Butler actually sings many of the songs that are heard, with a Presley-like timbre: his voice has been mixed with that of the real Elvis, to very realistic effects. Excellent reviews for Butler’s performance, including the illustrious one of his daughter Lisa-Marie Presley, for which the actor had “beautifully channeled and embodied the heart and soul of my father father. In my humble opinion, his performance is unprecedented and finally performed in an accurate and respectful way ». The performance brought him a nomination for theOscars as best leading actor: Will Smith then won, who punched Chris Rock at the awards ceremony, but that’s another story. As Butler, this role represents his official entry into Hollywood’s A-list after starting as teen idol made in Nickleodeon (with the tv series Ned – survival school), TV series and Broadway musicals. Detail that increases his star power: his girlfriend is Kaia Gerberthe supermodel daughter of Cindy Crawford (by the way: why hasn’t anyone invented a crasis for this young power couple yet?).

Austin Butler in Elvis by Baz Luhrmann from 2022.

Now that too Priscilla was presented in Venice and will be released in US theaters in October, Jacob Elordi and Austin Butler are officially in competition. Also because, one “against” the other they have already found each other when both were in contention to replace Henry Cavill in the part of the protagonist of Superman: Legacies: got the role then David Corenswet. Between the two litigants, the third one wins the Superman onesie.

Source: Vanity Fair

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