Merle Haggard Biopic in the Works
Merle Haggard may be the next country icon to have his life play out on the silver screen. A production company has optioned a script for a film based on his life.
Deadline reports that GMH Productions has acquired the rights for a project titled Done It All, written by Cliff Hollingsworth (Cinderella Man) and developed in conjunction with Haggard's friend Carl Cooper. According to Arkansas Online, Cooper and Haggard's son Ben began recording videos of Haggard telling his life story in the mid-2000s, to use to develop a movie script.
"Merle and I just agreed to put a little money together and start recording everything verbatim from him, get it on film of him telling his story from birth through today," Cooper said back in 2008. "He asked me because I'm the only guy that he trusts. If you ever make a movie, you'll know why."
Haggard, of course, will not be the first country legend to have a biopic made about his life. The Johnny Cash biopic Walk the Line premiered in 2005, and, most recently, Hank Williams' story was told in the biopic I Saw the Light.
Following a bout of pneumonia, Haggard died on April 6, his 79th birthday. After signing with Capitol Records in the early 1960s, Haggard went on to release more than 100 charting country singles, earn 38 No. 1 hits and release close to 70 albums. Throughout his career, the legend won Entertainer of the Year, numerous Grammy Awards, a Kennedy Center Honor, the Crystal Milestone Award and countless others. He was elected to the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1977, and in 1994, he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
“He loved everything about life, and he loved that every one of you gave him a chance with his music,” his son Ben writes. “He wasn’t just a country singer … He was the best country singer that ever lived.”
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