Tom Hiddleston has been tagged for the title role in the Hank Williams biopic, I Saw the Light. The Westminster-born star of The Avengers, Thor, War Horse, Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris and the BBC’s Hollow Crown series, will portray the “King of the Hillbillies” in a film about the country music star’s life. Williams was one of the major country music stars of the late 1940s and early 1950s, with eight No. 1 country singles to his name. Williams died on New Year’s Day in 1953 in the back seat of a Cadillac at a gas station in West Virginia, on his way to a concert at the young age of 29, a victim of his alcoholism and drug abuse.
Photo by Todd Plitt, USA TODAY
AP Photo/Country Music Hall of Fame
Set to begin shooting in Louisiana in October, the film will not only feature Hiddleston with Williams’s trademark Alabama accent but his music too, with Hiddleston set to sing classics such as “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry”, “Hey, Good Lookin'” and “Your Cheatin’ Heart”. The film, which will be directed by Marc Abraham (Flash of Genius), who adapted the script from Colin Escott’s biography of Williams, will tell the story of Williams’ meteoric rise, how he created one of the greatest bodies of work in American music, and the tragic effect of fame on his health and personal life. While I’ve always marveled at British actors who are able to speak with an American accent (you’ve got to see Martin Freeman in Fargo), Hiddleston should have no problem given the fact he played F. Scott Fitzgerald in Midnight in Paris. I can’t wait to hear him sing! It will, no doubt, erase the memories of a 1964 George Hamilton as Hank Williams.