AMERICAN PRIDE: Dennis Quaid in Talks for Role of Entertainment Icon – FilmBook

Dennis Quaid American Pride
Dennis Quaid considers portraying the rockabilly icon Jack “The Cowboy” Clement in American Pride.

Except for aficionados of country/western or rockabilly musical genres, the name of Jack Clement might not even be a blip on the radar. This is a shame, considering all that Clement had contributed to all areas of the entertainment industry over the decades. This is especially with respect to the crossover pop song successes for which he was responsible. Most notably, Clement brought “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On” to the charts, incidentally launching the career of Jerry Lee Lewis.
American Pride, the biopic under discussion with Dennis Quaid for the role of “The Cowboy” himself, may bring this music industry icon to the fore.
Dennis Quaid needs no introduction. From his breakout role in Breaking Away, he has brought his charming signature ‘slash’ grin and the aura of mixed strength and vulnerability to each of his roles. In particular, critics across the board praised his portrayal as the suppressed, upper middle-class executive Frank Whittaker in Far from Heaven. As first cousin to Gene Autry it makes sense that the role of the iconic mogul Jack Clement would fit Quaid like a glove. And the song he wrote and performed, “On My Way to Heaven” (available on Youtube) for his film, I Can Only Imagine, only bolsters his claim to the role.
Another good reason is that Quaid has worked in the past with Craig Brewer, set to direct this feature if it moves forward. Brewer directed the enormously successful remake of the 1984 blockbuster, Footloose, with Quaid in an extraordinary turn as the priggish pastor, Rev. Shaw Moore, who managed to outlaw dancing in a small southern town.
Brewer himself is something of a hero in the indie universe. After producing and directing a documentary about Indie Memphis, titled Indie Origins, he was elected president of that organization for two years. He then followed up with another documentary based on the local pro basketball team, the Memphis Grizzlies, with special regard to its celebrity, Center Marc Gasol. Brewer also found considerable success with his previous biopic, Dolemite Is My Name, focused on the character that Eddie Murphy made famous.
Much of Brewer’s claim to fame, however, lies in his work as director for the successful television series, Empire. In that series he collaborated with writer Dianne Houston, who is set to pen the screenplay for American Pride. Ms. Houston is the top choice, because she was the first (and so far the only) African-American woman to be nominated for an Academy Award as director for her live-action short, Tuesday Morning Ride, but also for the game-changing controversy she garnered at the Oscar ceremony that year.
It is hoped that the collective creativity fires up the chance that American Pride will continue to develop and eventually find its way to wide distribution. It seems a song long overdue for an unsung hero, and this is the team to do it. Seriously, all things considered, what’s not to like?
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