HomeEntertainmentMusicCountry MusicWillie Nelson Could Have His Own Biopic on the Way Soon

Willie Nelson Could Have His Own Biopic on the Way Soon

by Craig Garrett
Willie Nelson
(Photo by Gary Miller/Getty Images)

Country music legend and marijuana legalization advocate Willie Nelson could be next on deck to receive the Hollywood biopic treatment. The new documentary Willie Nelson and Family recently debuted at the Sundance Film Festival. Filmmakers Thom Zimny and Oren Moverman co-directed the five-part docuseries.

In a recent chat with The Hollywood Reporter, Moverman and Zimny discussed the project. The film crew behind the documentary was awestruck when Nelson gave them his blessing to document his life. After observing how well their movie turned out, it sounds like he has become more receptive to having a biopic based on himself as well.

“I never imagined we’d be doing a documentary about him because he never really wanted a documentary made about him,” Moverman explained. He then went on to point out that Nelson is also “interested” in a biopic.

“[Nelson’s] had time to reflect over the pandemic,” Moverman continued. “He’s been very careful. He’s almost 90 years old. He lost his sister, who was 91, recently. She’s in the movie and she’s a huge part of his life. So he believes in a lot of inspiring things, and he is a big reincarnation guy. He’s seeing something right now that makes sense to him, and I think he’s very open to a biopic.”

The filmmakers behind ‘Willie Nelson & Family’ call Willie’s openness ‘shocking’

Willie Nelson & Family, a five-part series, was featured in the annual Indie Episodic program. Emmy Award winners Zimny and Moverman directed this show. The former having won his award for directing Springsteen on Broadway and the latter taking home an Emmy for Bad Education starring Hugh Jackman.

Willie Nelson and Family details both the triumphs and tribulations of his life, director Moverman commended Nelson for being so candid with him. Despite some uncomfortable parts to discuss in the film, he had complete faith in the filmmakers to portray his story authentically. As a result of this trust between them, we are offered an unfiltered look into one of country music’s most iconic figures.

“His openness is shocking,” the co-director said. “If you do a deep dive, it’s not going to be all surface gloss. Many parts of his life have been amazing, but he was very open about the dark stuff, about the heartbreaks and the pain. He was open at all times, and he basically said, ‘ask me anything.’

Musician biopics have continued to be a popular and profitable genre in the film industry, prompting many to ask Nelson how he feels about going down this path. Last year, the biopic Elvis premiered to wide acclaim, with Austin Butler bringing home a Golden Globe for Best Actor in his portrayal of Elvis Presley. The movie also achieved financial success at the box office. Several more music biopics are on the way, including films based on Madonna, Michael Jackson, Amy Winehouse, Ozzy Osbourne, and other well-known musicians.