For decades, Merle Haggard encapsulated the details of his turbulent life into honest country songs. Now, his extraordinary journey from San Quentin inmate to country music legend is headed for the big screen. According to Deadline, a script based on the singer-songwriter’s life — titled Done It All — has been written by Cliff Hollingsworth, who also penned the script for Oscar-nominated biopic Cinderella Man.
GMH Productions has optioned Hollingsworth’s script about Haggard for a film project in conjunction with Haggard’s friend Carl Cooper, whom the legendary entertainer put in charge of helping to develop a movie about his life with the screenwriter. The title is taken from “I’ve Done It All,” a tune that closes the 1971 LP Hag. The song’s lyrics include references to Haggard stealing a quarter at 10 years old, spending Christmas at a detention hall and riding a freight train “while running from the law.” The script for Done It All is completed and the next step — finding a director and casting — will reportedly be underway soon.
Once completed and released, Done It All would join the Oscar-winning 1980 hit about Loretta Lynn, Coal Miner’s Daughter, 2005’s Johnny Cash biopic Walk the Line and this year’s I Saw the Light, based on the life of Hank Williams, as a few of the feature films that have depicted the private lives of country legends. Earlier this year, actor Josh Brolin fueled speculation that he will play George Jones in a new film being executive produced by the late icon’s widow, Nancy Jones.
Haggard appeared in a handful of films during his lifetime, making his feature-film debut as a police officer in the 1968 crime drama, Killers Three.