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Sam Rockwell will play Merle Haggard in new biopic about the Country and Western Star

Amazon Studios is working on a new biopic about Merle Haggard. Sam Rockwell is set to play the Country & Western star. He will also be singing in the movie.

According to Deadline, Robin Bissell will direct the film. He will write the script with Merle’s widow, Theresa Haggard, based on the Haggard memoir Sing Me Back Home.

Haggard had a long and storied career, but the film will focus on his tumultuous rise from inmate who served three years at San Quentin – where he was among the prisoners who watched the first prison performance of Johnny Cash in a life-changing moment – to the clubs in Bakersfield hometown, to Capitol Records in Los Angeles to becoming what Kris Kristofferson called “The greatest artist in American music history” and what the Country Music Hall of Fame calls “The single most influential singer-songwriter in country music history.”

Haggard had a rough upbringing, losing his beloved dad when he died of a stroke while the youth was nine. His mother, Flossie, went to work and left Merle to his own devices in Bakersfield, and by 13 he was a truant who began hopping freight trains to New Mexico, Texas and Oklahoma, stealing cars and engaging in petty theft. After racking up a string of arrests. He escaped 17 times from California juvenile facilities as a teen and that stat got him sent to notorious San Quentin as soon as he reached adult age.

The movie covers his subsequent struggle to escape that past to become a better man and legendary artist.

Rockwell worked with Bissell in 2019’s The Best of Enemies. I do love Rockwell and he should be great in the role.

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