Update: Variety reveal today that James Keach is also working a documentary about Glen Campbell chronicling his career and battle with Alzheimer’s. He is currently on the road with the musician on his final tour, conducting interviews and capturing the star’s final travels around the world.
The country music drama has had a bit of mixed history of late. “Walk the Line” and “Crazy Heart” were popular box office and Oscar-winning hits while “Country Strong” and “My Own Love Song” tanked pretty hard. It’s a tricky mix, creating an inspirational story that feels genuine, and when they don’t, they feel as phony as a daytime soap opera. But “Walk the Line” producer James Keach thinks he’s found a tale of a country legend worth telling and we’re inclined to agree.
Spinner reveals that Keach has signed on to develop a movie about the legendary Glen Campbell. The “Wichita Lineman,” “Galveston” and “Rhinestone Cowboy” singer first earned his reputation as an ace guitar slinger and spent his early years doing session work with group the Wrecking Crew for a variety of folks, including names like Frank Sinatra, The Monkees, Merle Haggard and The Mamas & the Papas. And he also logged time with some people you might have heard of: Elvis Presley and Dean Martin. After Brian Wilson‘s infamous breakdown in 1965, Campbell joined the Beach Boys for a brief moment but balked at becoming a full on member when they wouldn’t give him an equal cut of the royalties. Nevertheless, he soldiered on with a solo career becoming one of the biggest crossover country stars of the time. His was a pretty savvy blend of country sentiment and pop hooks that have earned him 12 gold albums, four platinum albums and four Grammys.
With his travels through the industry that found him rubbing shoulders with some of the biggest stars in the history of music — not to mention his rocky relationships (he’s been married four times and has eight kids) — all while battling alcohol and drug addiction, it’s pretty easy to see the big screen potential. But there’s even more. Campbell was tragically diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease recently and is currently in the midst of a final world tour before the affliction fully sets in. It’s a heroic bookend to a remarkable career and again, it’s the kind of story that screams “Award Season.”
It’s early stages yet but it’s the kind of role that could launch the career of a young actor, and as it gears up we’re sure many names will be bandied about. For now, listen to a few of the tunes that made Campbell a star.