Merle Haggard Biopic, Co-Written and Co-Produced By Wife Theresa, in the Works
A new biopic about country legend Merle Haggard is on the way. Deadline reports that Amazon Studios has acquired the rights to the project, which will be directed by Robin Bissell, who previously worked on 2012's The Hunger Games, 2003's Seabiscuit and more.
Bissell will co-write and co-produce the biopic with Theresa Haggard, who is the late country star's widow. The as-yet-untitled project will be based off of Haggard's memoir, Sing Me Back Home, which details the singer's unlikely rise to fame.
The new film will focus on Haggard's three-year stint in San Quentin (where he was one of the prisoners to attend the first of Johnny Cash's now-iconic prison performances) and his subsequent rise to the very highest echelons of country music fame. The biopic will detail the singer's struggle to distance himself from his ex-con status, as well as his tumultuous relationship with his onstage partner and offstage love interest (and eventual wife) Bonnie Owens.
Sam Rockwell, the Oscar-winning performer known for his work in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Seven Psychopaths and more, is on deck to play the leading role of Haggard in the biopic. He will do all his own singing as part of his role in the film, focusing on the portion of Haggard's discography that was recorded in the 1960s, when the film takes place.
Theresa Haggard was Merle Haggard's fifth and final wife. The couple were married for 23 years before Haggard's death in 2016, and they had two children together.
PICTURES: Merle Haggard Through the Years