Bill Monroe biopic in the works?

A number of Hollywood blogs are drawing attention today to the development of a Bill Monroe film biography, which The Wrap describes as a “low-budget, ‘Walk the Line’-type project.”

The reports we have seen are a bit on the gossippy side, but they all indicate that actor Peter Sarsgaard is very closely associated with the project, and has been involved in bringing Finn Taylor aboard to direct, and Callie Khouri as screenwriter.

Sarsgaard has appeared in a couple dozen films, and won some critical praise for his work, though he has not yet broken out in a starring role. The Hollywood blogs are calling him a devoted bluegrass fan who is pursuing this film as a labor of love. What a great breakout role for him as the young Bill Monroe!

Part of the buzz from the film blogs has to do with some of the side connections. Sarsgaard is married to Maggie Gyllenhaal, whose acting work has a slightly higher profile, and Khouri is married to celebrated music director T. Bone Burnett, whose soundtrack for O Brother, Where Art Thou? became such a sensation.

We’ll see what additional information we can pick up about this. Even as an independent, ‘art house’ release, a Bill Monroe movie would be a well-deserved honor. Let’s hope that someone gets behind this project in a big way.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.