Is Hollywood Ready For James Bond As Townes Van Zandt?

Coinciding with the late Kurt Cobain's 43rd birthday last week came news on the ongoing development of a supposed Hollywood biopic. Ideas for Cobain flick started being bandied about almost before the lid was sealed shut on the Nirvana frontman's urn after his April 1994 suicide. But that's the way the entertainment industry is, rushing to the scene of the crime to attempt to capitalize in whatever way, shape or form it can. Luckily, both Johnny Cash and Ray Charles were alive and kicking just long enough to help pick the men who would play them in their own repective life stories.

Texas is awash in near-mythic musicians ripe for portrayal on the big screen, with some having sadly short life spans. We have already seen a handful of films go through the theaters with varying results. Gary Busey knocked Buddy Holly out of the park in 1978's The Buddy Holly Story, and Jennifer Lopez quickly became a household name and ass-tastic pinup after donning the sequined bustier for 1997's Selena. George Strait's country-schlock masterpiece Pure Country wasn't quite a biopic so much as a morality tale and an excuse for King George to wear a mullet wig and grow a beard. A Janis Joplin film has been kicked around for almost three decades to no avail; the last we heard, studio execs were aiming for She & Him's Zooey Deschanel to play Joplin.

Our state has a knack for helping create some of the most intriguing, innovative and dangerous people to ever strum a guitar or pick up a microphone. You could say it's in the air, the water or maybe our beloved tacos, but Texas musicians from Scott Joplin and Bob Wills to prodigal sons like Britt Daniel and Gibby Haynes all share that common thread. Plenty of other Texas artists, both living and dead, deserve the five-star Hollywood treatment. Rocks Off picked out a few, and even went to the trouble of casting them so the producers won't have to.

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Craig Hlavaty
Contact: Craig Hlavaty