Sam Rockwell in talks to play Merle Haggard in biopic

If cast, Sam Rockwell will do his own singing in the biopic.

Sam Rockwell is in talks to play country singer Merle Haggard in an upcoming biopic.

According to Deadline, the Oscar winner will do his own singing of Haggard's standards in the film, which will be directed by Robin Bissell from a script he will write with Haggard's widow Theresa. They will adapt the screenplay from Haggard's memoir Sing Me Back Home, named after one of his biggest hits and albums, and produce the project together.

The movie, which has been acquired by Amazon Studios, will serve as a reunion for Rockwell and Bissell, who previously worked together on The Best of Enemies, which was released last year and also starred Taraji P. Henson.

The biopic will be set in the 1960s, when Haggard launched his career. It will also focus on his tumultuous rise from an inmate who served three years at San Quentin State Prison in California – where he was among the prisoners who watched the first prison performance of Johnny Cash - to becoming one of the most influential singer-songwriters in country music history. The movie will cover his struggle to escape his criminal past and become a legendary artist as well as his love affair with Bonnie Owens, his singing partner and eventual second wife.

If Rockwell is confirmed for the role, it won't be the first time the Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri actor has portrayed a real person onscreen - he played director and choreographer Bob Fosse in the TV drama Fosse/Verdon, Ku Klux Klan member C.P. Ellis in The Best of Enemies, game show creator/host Chuck Barris in Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, and former U.S. President George W. Bush in Vice.

Haggard passed away in 2016 at the age of 79.

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