Following recent films chronicling the lives of Hank Williams, Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash, the career and tumultuous private life of Roy Orbison is to be turned into a movie.
According to Deadline, The Big O: Roy Orbison will be produced by two of Orbison’s surviving sons, Alex and Roy, with another, Wesley Orbison, one of the executive producers. The script will be written by Ray Gideon and Bruce Evans, who collaborated on 1985’s Stand by Me, Starman and Mr Brooks.
The Texas-born Orbison’s first big hit was in 1956, with the Sun Records-released Ooby Dooby. Subsequent hits included Crying, Only the Lonely, In Dreams and Oh, Pretty Woman, but Orbison’s career was thrown off course after his wife died in a motorcycle accident, and his two eldest sons were killed in a house fire.
Orbison drifted for a while, starring in ill-received western The Fastest Guitar Alive, before remarrying, returning to music, and seeing his profile jumpstarted by the use of his songs by David Lynch in Blue Velvet.
A triumphant TV concert in which Orbison was joined by Bruce Springsteen, Elvis Costello and many others followed, before he joined Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, Jeff Lynne and George Harrison in super group The Traveling Wilburys. They enjoyed enormous success and Orbison was working on a solo comeback before suffering a fatal heart attack aged 52.
Alex Orbison said: “My dad’s story is a fantastic journey. He was so inspiring as a person because, after everything he had been through, good and bad, he still had a positive outlook on life, and was kind and wonderful. The movie will mirror a Roy Orbison song: having triumph and tragedy, sometimes losing the girl and sometimes getting the girl, and ending on a high note. Our father’s life story has an undeniably cinematic quality to it.”
As a character, Orbison has featured little on screen; he was played by Johnathan Rice in 2005’s Walk the Line.
Source: The Guardian