As high as I am on Tom Hiddleston, the idea of him playing all-American country music icon Hank Williams gives me pause. Somehow this role should go to an American actor. This casting feels like a foreign sales decision. Hiddleston, who is bankable thanks to playing Loki in two Thor films and "The Avengers," is set to play Williams in writer-director Marc Abraham's "I Saw the Light," based on Colin Escott’s biography. Via Sony ATV, the biopic has secured rights to the Williams music catalogue including such hits as “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry,” “Hey Good Lookin’” and “Your Cheatin’ Heart.”
Not that Hiddleston isn't a gifted actor and singer. After supporting roles in Woody Allen's "Midnight in Paris" and Steven Spielberg's "War Horse," Hiddleston starred opposite Rachel Weisz in Terence Davies' drama "Deep Blue Sea," in the TV series "The Hollow Crown," Jim Jarmusch's "Only Lovers Left Alive," has shot "Crimson Peak" for Guillermo del Toro, and is set to film Ben Wheatley's "High Rise" for producer Jeremy Thomas and Recorded Picture Company. Hank Williams will be an exciting challenge for him. It just feels....wrong.
Producer-turned-director Abraham recently directed the underwhelming drama "Flash of Genius," starring Greg Kinnear. Brett Ratner and James Packer's Ratpac Entertainment will finance "I Saw the Light," and Aaron L. Gilbert will produce for Bron Studios alongside Ratner, G. Marq Roswell and Abraham. The Bron Studios / RatPac Entertainment production, in association with Creative Wealth Media Finance, is scheduled to begin production in Louisiana in October 2014.