Sofia Coppola’s creative team made two assumptions about the music of her film about Priscilla Presley that would prove wrong. While told from the emotional POV of Priscilla, there would be a need for a handful of Elvis tracks — but those were impossible to license. Coppola and her composer/husband Thomas Mars, whose band Phoenix has written original music for several of her films, also assumed “Priscilla” would rely more on an original score.

“Thomas and the band were initially focused on what we were going to do with the score moments in the film,” Coppola’s longtime music supervisor Randall Poster told IndieWire. “It very quickly went from something we thought we were going to record an original score to curating a score. That was what was unique to this movie.”

The shift meant Phoenix would join Poster as co-music supervisor, and together, they would find the 51 pieces of licensed music that make up the “Priscilla” soundtrack. Below, Mars and Poster break down some of the key musical moments and the creative decisions behind them.

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