11:47am PT by Lesley Goldberg
Lifetime Taps Jewel for June Carter Cash Biopic
Reese Witherspoon, move over.
Lifetime has tapped Jewel to star in The June Carter Cash Story, a biopic about the late country singer, the network said Thursday.
The project is based on Carter Cash's son John Carter Cash's memoir Anchored in Love: An Intimate Portrait of June Carter Cash. Richard Friedenberg (Lifetime's Of Two Minds) will adapt, with Southland's Allison Anders on board to direct. John Carter Cash, Steven Michaels and Jonathan Koch will executive produce.
American Horror Story's Matt Ross will play Johnny Cash in the story that tracks June's life from her childhood in Virginia through her rise to fame as she performed with icons like Elvis Presley and her relationship with the Man in Black.
Like the Joaquin Phoenix-Witherspoon feature Walk the Line, the Lifetime telepic will chronicle the singer-songwriter's relationship with her third husband and detail her efforts to save his life as he battled substance abuse. Witherspoon picked up an Oscar for her portrayal of Carter Cash in the 2005 movie.
"Many people know about the legendary love story of Johnny and June, but June Carter Cash has her own epic journey filled with triumphs, tragedies, loves and losses," Lifetime exec vp Rob Sharenow said in announcing the news Thursday. "This movie will explore all aspects of the woman behind the icon, and we're thrilled Jewel will be playing the role."
The biopic marks the first scripted effort for the "You Were Meant for Me" singer following her hosting gig on Bravo's music competition series Platinum Hit. She has appeared as herself in numerous projects, including Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story and ABC's Men in Trees, among others.
Jewel, a four-time Grammy nominee and children's book author, is repped by CAA; Ross is with ICM and Framework Entertainment. Asylum Entertainment will produce The June Carter Cash Story; filming is set to begin in the summer in Atlanta for a premiere this year.
For Lifetime, the telefilm follows another high-profile effort in its Elizabeth Taylor biopic Liz & Dick, with Lindsay Lohan attached, and comes as the network is rebranding itself for the multitasking woman.