Of all the cinematic archetypes, the down and out hero with a heart of gold seems to be one of the better clichés. And no better man fills that part than country music deity Hank Williams, whose life is getting the film treatment courtesy of Universal.
Thanks to Variety (via TwentyFourBit), we’ve learned that the premier studio has acquired the rights to create a biopic and has enlisted Children of Men‘s Marc Abraham and Eric Newman (of Strike Entertainment) to introduce the musician with 11 #1 hits to movie audiences across the globe. The film will be made in cooperation with the Hank Williams estate (meaning it will have the right to use his recordings) and will use Colin Escott’s aptly titled biography, Hank Williams: The Biography, as a recourse (meaning it should also be semi-accurate… or as accurate as a Hollywood film can be.)
Abraham cited Williams’ tragic, yet spectacular life as the reason he was drawn to the film. “He was the first real star who went down as the result of his lifestyle, succeeded by Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin and Kurt Cobain,” Abraham said. “He destroyed himself, but for six years leading to his death, Hank had six songs each year in the top 10.”
For those not in the know, Williams is the legendary musician behind hits like “Cold, Cold Heart”, “Your Cheatin’ Heart”, and “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry”. He also suffered from spina bifida and developed a nasty drug and alcohol addiction before dying in 1953 at the age of 29.
IMDB currently lists the untitled film with a 2012 release and while preliminary reports suggest all the music will be Williams’ originals, few details have been finalized. As soon as more details emerge, we’ll be sure to round ’em up. For now, enjoy some country music that’ll surely break your heart.