Priscilla Presley ‘didn’t set limits’ on depiction of Elvis in new Netflix series | TV & Radio | Showbiz & TV
Agent Elvis comes hot on the tails of the award-winning film starring Austin Butler, and offers a very different look at Elvis Presley’s life away from the stage. Starring Matthew McConaughey as the legendary performer, the new Netflix series follows Elvis as he joins a secret spy program with his real-life wife Priscilla Presley in tow.
Co-showrunners John Eddie and Mike Arnold confirmed they gave themselves several mandates to ensure the series wasn’t offensive towards Presley’s late husband.
She was originally pitched the idea back in 2012, and was fully on-board with the direction the team wanted to take.
While Eddie and Arnold were careful to avoid ‘cheap jokes’, Presley trusted them to depict her late husband how he would have wanted to appear.
“We really didn’t have any limits. Priscilla was very open to what we were doing, the stories we were telling, [and] the tone of the show, which is certainly irreverent,” Arnold revealed.
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“And she got it. She knew what we were trying to do and embraced it.
“Elvis isn’t a fictionalised Elvis, this is an alternate reality. She would always tell us about how much he would’ve loved the show. And so we took that license and ran with it.”
Presley voices herself in several episodes of the series, and is also credited as one of Agent Elvis’ co-creators.
Although fans may have expected her to be very protective over her famous husband, it was actually the showrunners who took the most care.
“From the get-go, [our vision for the series] was that Elvis is always cool in the show,” Eddie explained to IGN.
“There’s never a point where we make cheap Elvis jokes. We had a list of things, and again, not from Priscilla, we didn’t want to do.
“The peanut butter, banana sandwich jokes, the fat Elvis jokes. We wanted Elvis to always be cool and be the hero and everything going on around Elvis could be crazy and out of control and pushing the limits.
“But Elvis himself, we were very respectful to the idea of Elvis as a very cool individual.”
Elvis fans will certainly be happy to hear the series embraces the King’s rockstar persona, rather than poking fun at his troubled later years as other parodies have done in the past.
Eddie also wanted to avoid depicting the star’s real-life drug use and womanising which stirred up much controversy in his heyday.
“This is Elvis as a hero,” he added. “Which was definitely a part of his personality and persona too.
“We wanted to lean into that. It’s a fun show in that way.”
Finally, the writers also confirmed Presley was “over the moon” when they landed on Oscar-winner McConaughey to portray her husband.
“Elvis, among many things, was just an, incredibly cool guy,” Arnold said. “Matthew’s effortless swagger is absolutely real.
“The guy’s incredibly cool and made this new version of an Elvis voice that just felt perfect.
“And I think one of the things he found appealing was the notion of being the first person to ever provide the voice of an animated Elvis. And such a singular character is a great challenge for an actor.”
Agent Elvis is available to stream on Netflix.