I saw a piece Friday in Variety that said the long-promised, never-delivered Charley Pride biopic is back on again -- only, without Terrence Howard or Hustle & Flow and Black Snake Moan writer-director Craig Brewer, who announced their intention to make a movie about Pride way back in the fall of '06. Instead, said the story, wrestler-turned-actor Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson would be portraying the ballplayer who kissed an angel good mornin' and became one of country music's biggest pop stars in the 1960s and '70s.
Now comes this report from something called Taste of Country, which says Brewer is still attached, American Idol's Randy Jackson is producing, and that "Johnson came to Dallas to meet with the country legend about the role and they became 'old friends.'"
All of which comes as news to John Daines, Pride's manager. "I don't know," Daines tells Unfair Park this afternoon. "We saw it too. I need to check with somebody with The Rock and find out whether it's on or not. We haven't had any contacts on it."
He does confirm The Rock was in town meeting with Pride all right. Matter of fact, that comes from an interview Pride did with a Canadian newspaper a few days ago in advance of some shows up north:
"Terrence is no doubt a more in-depth actor academically, but Dwayne is such a force on screen. It startled me a little at first, but he flew down to Dallas and spent a day with me just sitting, talking recently. And when he left it was like parting with an old friend. We had such similar views on so many things."
I just sent an email to Johnson's publicist, Joy Fehily, asking for confirmation. She responded within, oh, a minute: "Yup -- we can confirm his attachment."