Dwayne Johnson Producing and Starring in Biopic on Charley Pride?
Earlier this week, we learned that Fast Five star Paul Walker would produce and star in an indie thriller called Vehicle 19. Now another cast member from the franchise sequel is also producing and starring in another lower profile project of his own. The Telegraph-Journal (via The Playlist) has learned that Dwayne Johnson has been lined up to produce and star in a biopic about African-American country music singer Charley Pride whose career blossomed in the 1970's. Apparently the project was previously being developed with Terrence Howard starring and Hustle & Flow director Craig Brewer, but not anymore.
Pride himself revealed this bit of news in an interview with the Telegraph-Journal saying, the project had been developed previously, "But then the ball got fumbled. New management took over the studio that was ready to begin site work on it. And a decision was made to put all their resources behind thrillers—fast actioners. They felt that was where the big box office money was then.” Now Pride says the project is back on track and he even elaborated on the change in casting:
“Now it’s back on track again but with action and comedy star Dwayne Johnson portraying me in the title role. Terrence, it seems, is tied up on other involvements for a few years. Terrence is no doubt a more in-depth actor academically, but Dwayne is such a force on screen. It startled me a little at first, but he flew down to Dallas and spent a day with me just sitting, talking recently. And when he left it was like parting with an old friend. We had such similar views on so many things."
This is quite an unlikely project for an actor who has stayed within the confines of action and comedy (sometimes both of them together), and it shows that he's ready to show he has more than muscles and decent comedic timing. The story of Pride is rife with intriguing details from being a professional baseball player in the Negro leagues to being drafted into the Army. But instead of going back to playing ball, he decided to try his hand in music and while his race was kept secret from listeners (despite the quality of his music), his hit songs Just Between You and Me made a splash on the charts and made him a household name and a Grammy winner. The question is whether or not Johnson has the dramatic talent and the singing chops to pull it off. What do you think?