Dennis Quaid Sets Production for Charley Pride ‘American Pride’ Biopic

No, Dennis Quaid is not playing Charley Pride. That might ask the audience to suspend disbelief a little too much. But Dennis Quaid’s passion to bring a biopic film to life about the life of country legend Charley Pride is moving forward, with Quaid forming a new production company called Bonniedale (after his mother’s middle name) to make the film happen. And yes, Quaid will be appearing in the film, but as Country Music Hall of Fame producer and songwriter “Cowboy” Jack Clement who championed Charley Pride early in Pride’s career.

The film has been a long time coming. First formally announced in 2006 with actor Terrance Howard cast as Charley Pride, then announced later in 2011 with “The Rock” Dwayne Johnson set to portray Pride, script issues, production issues, and other problems resulted in endless delays for the film. Who will ultimately portray Charley Pride in the current production has yet to be announced.

Dennis Quaid has been involved in the development of the film for years, but it was bringing in script writer Dianne Houston who worked directly with Charley Pride before his passing in late 2020, and Charley’s wife of 64 years, Rozene, that helped break the impasse, and is allowing the film to finally move forward. Rozene was a direct witness to much of Pride’s struggles and successes, and the film is said to focus on her relationship with Charley, as well as Charley’s ascent to fame as an artist and entrepreneur. 

“Charley Pride was more than a superstar, icon or legend. Charley was a beautifully talented man who believed with his entire heart in the greatness of the American dream, and was determined to claim his place within it,” says screenwriter Diann Houston. “With all of the talk today about what is and is not American, Charley Pride’s life story is a reminder to us all of what being an American is all about.”

As the first film from Dennis Quaid’s new production company, he hopes it sets a precedent for the company moving forward. “I’m fed up with how things have gotten polarized,” he told Deadline. “There are many stories that take place in the middle part of the country, the flyover states if you will. Those stories get missed, a lot.”

Quaid continues, “Charley Pride was the Jackie Robinson of country music. He became a star at a time when that didn’t seem possible. It is a very interesting story of a man getting his dreams, the relationship with he and his wife over 50 years, and how difficult it was for Pride to be regarded by people of his own color who gravitated to other forms of music, much less C&W fans in the south who were resistant to welcoming a Black singer into the fold.”

Along with being an actor and producer, Dennis Quaid is also a musician, fronting his band called Dennis Quaid and the Sharks.

American Pride will be directed by Craig Brewer. There is no specific timeline at the moment for when filming will begin, or when the film might be released.

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