Speculation has been building for weeks now, but after a frenziedly worded, last minute casting call from the Arkansas Development Commission popped in local e-mail inboxes a couple days ago, the speculation stayed just that: speculative.
Now we know, after a weekend of filming in Benton, that Arkansas will have it's hand in an upcoming Hank Williams, Sr. biopic.
Tentatively titled "The Last Ride," the movie will ore one of the last, great untouched rock 'n roll stories in which the 29-year old Hillbilly Shakespeare is found dead in the back of his Cadillac in front of a West Virginia oil station. The hours leading up to (and after) his death have been a major source of conjecture for country music historians and biographers, each seeming to have their own individual take on Hank's last morphine and B-12 speedball.
Henry Thomas stars and, supposedly, Arkansan Harry Thomason directs, although I suspect he may be a temporary cover for a more well known director. One, he hasn't helmed a feature, fictional film since "The Day It Came To Earth" in 1979; two, the press release said "Arkansas needs to make a great impression on this director."
In all caps, to boot.
Yeah, our state's film commission should make a great impression on every film crew to roll work within our borders, but it doesn't take a lot of deep reading to make that sentence sound like the director was a tad apprehensive about filming here. Surely one of the state's biggest TV/film figureheads wouldn't need too much massaging to work in his homestate.
Looks like I'm not the only one who thinks so, too.
Consider the comments line a working hair salon for deliberation on the question at hand.
Regardless, keep checking Rock Candy for further news on the project.