Tom Hiddleston is on tap to play one of the greatest American music icons, Hank Williams.
Named for one of Williams' best known songs, “I Saw the Light” will see the British actor trying on a deep South accent and tackling tunes from the Williams songbook.
The British actor has risen to fame in recent years for his delicious turn as Loki in the “Thor” films, for dancing on command, and co-starring as a storied and tortured musician in one of 2014's best films “Only Lovers Left Alive.”
Williams, on the other hand, rose to fame in his teens and died at 29 of complications due to his raging alcoholism and drug abuse, leave behind a rep of at least three dozen country, blues and gospel originals and renditions one could easily qualify as stone-cold classics. The singer/songwriter's fabled death alone could fill volumes (or at least a 90-minute film and a spin-off).
Looks like “Only Lovers Left Alive” may have been a good training ground after all.
“I Saw the Light” will be directed by Marc Abraham (“Flash of Genius”) from his screenplay based on Colin Escott”s non-fiction title “Hank Williams: The Biography.” Bret Ratner's RatPac Entertainment and Aaron L. Gilbert's Bron Studios lead, with other producer credits going to G. Marq Roswell and Abraham. James Packer is executive producing.
And don't be daunted with the possibility of an estate catalog-block, a la Jimi Hendrix and “All Is By My Side”: the rights for tunes like “I”m So Lonesome I Could Cry,” “Hey Good Lookin“” and “Your Cheatin” Heart” have already been cleared.
Which leads us to Hiddleston, who'll be singin' them. But who knew Loki could sing? OK, to be fair, we did. Below are just a mere smattering of times Tom Hiddleston has sang on camera.
The Hank Williams story has been approached before, like in 1964's so-so “Your Cheatin' Heart,” and 2012's “The Last Ride.” With big names like RatPac and Hiddleston batting, hopefully “I Saw the Light” will be more of a holler.