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Elvis: Jacob Elordi or Austin Butler?

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at GCU chapter.

With the new release of “Priscilla,” social media has taken to creating a war between Jacob Elordi fans and Austin Butler fans. The GCU girls have spoken! After a poll posted on Her Campus GCU’s Instagram, it seems that Austin Butler is just barely favored as Elvis, receiving 53% of votes. However, even though Butler stars in the movie “Elvis” it seems that the same audience of GCU voters prefer the newer film “Priscilla” over “Elvis.”

“Priscilla,” directed by Sofia Coppola focuses on Priscilla Presley, her relationship with Elvis, and how his lifestyle affected her. Despite the movie aiming to largely be about Priscilla, fans have hyper-focused on Jacob Elordi’s performance as Elvis. Clips from the movie have swarmed social media, largely on TikTok, with comment sections either praising Elordi or comparing him to Austin Butler, who famously played Elvis in the film “Elvis” last year. Here is where the war has begun. Fans are claiming sides, either supporting Elordi or Butler’s portrayal of the famous superstar, creating memes, and ruthlessly taking over the comment section. 

Jacob Elordi in “Priscilla”

Fans of Jacob Elordi’s performance are largely basing it on his Elvis voice. Clips on social media have praised him saying the phrase “Viva Las Vegas,” saying he sounds identical to Elvis. Fans have taken to clowning Austin Butler for this, as he famously has been unable to fully shake off his Elvis Voice, despite having wrapped in 2020. Butler has also been clowned for method acting for three years, with memes highlighting the fact that he didn’t see his family during most of those three years, and basically let Elvis become his entire life in preparation for the film. Elordi has famously claimed he learned about Elvis from Lilo and Stitch and ate a lot of bacon to prepare for the role. In the end, Elordi fans claim his Elvis voice is superior to Butler’s, and love to point out that Elordi seemingly put much less work into the role, but was still better than Butler. Elordi was reportedly given the role after Coppola reached out to the actor, saying that she wanted an actor who naturally contained Elvis’s sway with the ladies, and had seen the way fans already reacted to Elordi.

Austin Butler in “Elvis”

Fans of Butler have plenty of evidence to back up their version of Elvis. After Butler’s performance, he was nominated for a Golden Globe and won Best Actor in a Drama. Ultimately, his portrayal of the king of rock’n’roll fit precisely into the vision of Baz Luhrmann’s ambitious film. Fans praise him for his performances in the film, as he adopted Elvis’s famous dancing and shaking of the hips, and even had his own voice mixed in with Elvis’s for the film. Butler noticeably looks more like Elvis in his film, and ultimately encompasses the singer’s swagger, body movements, and mannerisms throughout the longevity of the film. Despite “Elvis” being released in June of 2022, Butler’s voice notably has changed after tackling the role of Elvis. Clips comparing his old voice to the way he talks now show that his voice has deepened and sometimes still adopts the Elvis southern twang. Fans of Butler claim that this showed his incredible commitment to the role, and just like any accent, it’s hard to shake. Overall, Butler successfully conveyed Elvis’s heartthrob characteristics, with social media and TikTok adopting many trends of young women running to the theater, seeing the film more than once, and pretty much being too stunned to speak after seeing Butler in the film.

In The End, The Movies Are About Two Completely Different Stories

Both Elordi and Butler have become aware of the imaginary competition between the two of them, with both actors showing nothing but support for each other. Elordi spoke on the issue, “I don’t know why people make art a blood sport,” he said. “It’s f*cking absurd.” Similarly, Butler only showed support, “I just wish him all the best.” It’s pretty clear that the two actors have no appetite to be compared in their portrayals of Elvis.

Something important to note is the general difference between the two films. Firstly, “Elvis” focuses on Elvis’s rise to fame and his unhealthy relationship with his controlling manager, Colonel Tom Parker. It highlights the highs and lows of his career, with Priscilla barely being featured in the film. In this adaptation, Elvis is bold and brilliant, showing a large personality and talent. This film has a whole different plot and message than the newer film, “Priscilla.” As the titles suggest, the films focus on two entirely different people, with Priscilla being the star of the new movie. “Priscilla” aims to highlight the struggles of being a woman in the time period as well as the toll it took being married to Elvis. In this film, the character of Elvis takes a backseat, with the glitz and glam largely ignored. It shows him in an ordinary manner, capable of emotional and physical abuse and creating an unhealthy life for his younger bride, Priscilla.

As these films showcase two completely different versions of Elvis, it’s hard to compare the two actors, and fans should instead focus on the messages the two films aim to send.

HI! My name is Brenna Moreno and I'm pursuing a Communications major with a minor in Professional Writing! I love reading, my favorites being romance, fantasy, fiction, and poetry!! Passionate about writing and the world around us.