Amazon has plans for a Merle Haggard biopic, according to Deadline.
Based on Merle’s 1981 memoir, Sing Me Back Home, the upcoming flick is set to be directed by Robin Bissell, who is also co-writing the script with Merle’s widow, Theresa Haggard. Oscar-winning actor Sam Rockwell is in talks to play Merle. The film will be set in the 1960s during the early part of Merle’s career.
The entire music world lost a true legend when Merle died on April 6, 2016—his 79th birthday—from complications of double pneumonia. He was born on April 6, 1937, in Bakersfield, Calif. He often reflected on his hardscrabble childhood, being raised primarily by his mother following the death of his father when Merle was a boy. He rebelled against his strict and stern mother, running away from home regularly and spending time in reform schools.
Merle truly knew what the hard-living “outlaw” lifestyle was all about. He spent time in San Quentin State Prison in California in the late 1950s for an attempted robbery (Merle was later pardoned for his crime by California governor Ronald Reagan). But after being released in 1960, Merle turned his life around and changed country music in the process. He was always attracted to music and songwriting, and he became inspired to pursue the life of an artist after seeing Johnny Cash perform at San Quentin in 1958.
Over the course of his Hall of Fame career, Merle recorded iconic songs like “Mama Tried,” “The Fightin’ Side of Me,” “Okie From Muskogee,” “Big City” and many more.
photo by AFF-USA.com