EXCLUSIVE: Lifetime has greenlighted The June Carter Cash Story, an original movie starring singer Jewel as the country icon. Matt Ross (American Horror Story) is set to play music legend Johnny Cash, Carter Cash’s husband. The film is based on the memoir Anchored In Love: An Intimate Portrait Of June Carter Cash by Carter Cash’s son John Carter Cash. Allison Anders (Southland) will direct from a screenplay by Richard Friedenberg (Lifetime’s Of Two Minds). Produced by Asylum Entertainment, The June Carter Cash Story will begin filming this summer in Atlanta for a premiere later this year. Steven Michaels, Jonathan Koch and John Carter Cash are executive producing.
The June Carter Cash Story follows June from early childhood growing up in the rural mountains of Virginia to her turbulent yet enduring relationship with Johnny Cash. The film chronicles June’s rise to fame with her singing family before breaking out on her own to perform alongside top entertainers like Elvis Presley. The June Carter Cash Story also takes a personal look at June’s first two marriages, her relationship with her kids and her infamous courtship with Cash, who would become her third and longtime husband. The movie showcases June’s role in saving Cash’s life during his battles with substance abuse. “Many people know about the legendary love story of Johnny and June,” said Lifetime’s EVP Rob Sharenow. “But June Carter Cash has her own epic journey filled with triumphs, tragedies, loves and losses. This movie will explore all aspects of the woman behind the icon, and we’re thrilled Jewel will be playing the title role.” Reese Witherspoon portrayed Jane Carter in the 2005 movie Walk The Line, earning an Oscar for her performance. Joaquin Phoenix played Johnny Cash in the movie.
This marks the first major screen acting gig for CAA-repped Jewel, whose previous credits include small roles in Ang Lee’s Ride With The Devil and Jake Kasdan’s Walk Hard. Jewel burst into the music scene with her 1995 debut album Pieces of You, one of the best-selling debut albums of all time, going 15 times platinum. Her most recent album, The Merry Goes Round, was released last year. This marks the latest high-profile biopic for Lifetime, which is in pre-production on Liz & Dick, about the love story of movie icons Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, with Lindsay Lohan set as Taylor. Anders is with APA.