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A Merle Haggard Biopic is in the Works, Sam Rockwell in Talks to Star


A movie focusing on the life and music of the late country legend Merle Haggard is in the works. Deadline reports that Amazon Studios has acquired a package for the biopic, which will be directed by Robin Bissell. Bissell will write the film script with Merle's widow Theresa Haggard, who'll also co-produce the movie. The script will be based off Merle Haggard's memoir Sing Me Back Home.

Oscar-winning actor Sam Rockwell is in talks to play the iconic Country Music Hall of Fame member and do his own singing for the film.

Primarily set in the 1960s, the film will trace Haggard's life, from his rise from an inmate in San Quentin, where he saw Johnny Cash perform, to becoming a pioneer of the Bakersfield sound and securing his place in country music history as one of the genre's most gifted songwriters and performers.

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Born in 1937 during the Great Depression, Haggard was raised in California and lost his father at the age of 9. After a difficult adolescence and a three-year stint in San Quentin, the country music legend took control of his life by utilizing his talent as a singer-songwriter. Haggard would go on to write timeless country classics such as "The Fightin' Side of Me," "Today I Started Loving You Again," "Workin' Man Blues," "Okie From Muskogee," "Mama Tried" and many more.

The film will also include Haggard's romance with fellow country singer Bonnie Owens and his decision to share his ex-con status on his friend Johnny Cash's television series.

The movie will reunite Sam Rockwell with Robin Bissell. The two worked together on the 2019 film The Best of Enemies, co-starring Taraji P. Henson.

Another Haggard biopic, Done it All, written by Cliff Hollingsworth (the screenwriter for Cinderella Man), was previously in talks. Haggard reportedly knew about the film before his death and put his friend Carl Cooper in charge of helping develop it. The only entry for Done it All on IMDB lists the project as in development. However, little is known about the project as of now.


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