The story of Country Music Hall of Fame duo the Louvin Brothers will be told in a new biopic starring Ethan Hawke, according to Variety. Satan Is Real, currently in development, costars Hawke and Alessandro Nivola as sibling singers Charlie and Ira Louvin.
Best known for their 1958 album Satan Is Real, with its outrageous hellscape album cover, the Louvin Brothers were a study in conflict. While delivering songs like “The Christian Life” and “The Kneeling Drunkard’s Plea,” the siblings often quarreled and lived on the edge, particularly Ira, whose mercurial behavior ultimately caused Charlie to leave the group. Ira died in car accident in 1965 at 41.
The planned film isn’t the only time the Louvins’ history has been dissected. Tyler Mahan Coe’s superb Cocaine & Rhinestones podcast delved deep into their history in an episode, while filmmaker Blake Judd profiled Charlie — who died in 2011 — in the documentary Charlie Louvin: Still Rattlin’ the Devil’s Cage.
Satan Is Real is just the latest country music-themed project for Hawke. He directed the 2018 film Blaze about cult troubadour Blaze Foley, played by Ben Dickey, and shortly after launched the record label SexHawkeBlack with Charlie Sexton and SXSW’s Louis Black. Their first release was Dickey’s solo album A Glimmer on the Outskirts.
Satan Is Real‘s screenplay will be written by Jon Raymond and Shelby Gaines, based in part on Charlie Louvin’s autobiography of the same name.