Dolly Parton wants a biopic

Dolly Parton performing on stage
Image via Instagram

Country and Western legend and secular saint Dolly Parton may not want her name in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame … yet, anyway. But there’s something she does want, which would bring about far more joy: a movie telling her life story. The “Jolene” singer has revealed she’s considering a future project which would bring the story of her life to the big screen, from her hardscrabble upbringing in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee, to her current status as a country superstar and everybody’s top pick for “Sweetest Person in the Entire World.”

Parton recently sat down with Larry Ferguson, host of the radio show Mr. Nashville Speaks, to speak about her life and career, and brought up a potential life story project. “I do intend someday to be on Broadway, but I’m thinking now that I might do my life story as a feature,” she told Ferguson. “Maybe possibly even a musical feature, so we’re in talks about that.”

The singer had been in talks with producers regarding a Broadway musical based on her life, but COVID-19 put the negotiations on hold, and Parton abandoned the project. It seems she may be exploring other options, including a big-screen version.

Parton’s life is practically the stuff of legends. She was born in an actual one-room cabin in Pittman Center, Tennessee, and grew up helping her sharecropper father and her mother to raise her eleven siblings. She went on to become a child performer, eventually appearing on the Grand Ole Opry program and joining Country star Porter Waggoner’s team, upon which she rose to national fame. After parting ways with Waggoner, Parton became a country megastar, eventually achieving crossover success with hits like “9 to 5” and “Islands in the Stream.” 

Fans may have to wait for the hoped-for biopic to materialize, but they can content themselves with seeing the star herself on the big screen again soon; Parton will return to her acting career in an upcoming adaptation of Run, Rose, Run, the novel she co-wrote with Women’s Murder Club author James Patterson. The novel tells the story of a young singer-songwriter who comes to Nashville in search of her dreams, only to find herself confronting her own dark secrets. Parton will co-produce the film with Reese Witherspoon and The Morning Show producer Lauren Neustadter.

Parton’s latest album, Run, Rose, Run, a companion to the book, was released March 4, 2022.