The biopic chronicling the short but legendary life of Hillbilly Shakespeare Hank Williams has its distributor, and it is one of the titans of the film industry. Sony Classics has acquired the worldwide distribution rights to I Saw The Light, a movie based on the Hank Williams biography by Colin Escott, and written and directed by Marc Abraham. The film stars Tom Hiddleston as Hank Williams, and Elizabeth Olsen as Hank’s wife Audrey.
I Saw The Light was shot in Shreveport, Louisiana in October of 2014 and is expected to be released in the prime of Oscar season later this year. Sony Classics coming on board is another sign of the big aspirations for the film. The Sony subsidiary landed a label-record 18 Oscar nominations during the last cycle. Working with Sony also makes sense from a music standpoint. Sony ATV is the rights holder of the Hank Williams catalog, and has already struck a deal with producers to use both the songs and recordings of Hank Williams in the movie.
According to Deadline, Sony Classics has been actively engaged with producers of the film about distribution for a “long time.” The deal with Sony Classic ensures wide distribution will not be an issue for the film. Meanwhile producer Brett Ratner of RatPac Entertainment said of the deal, “All of us at RatPac Entertainment are thrilled that Sony Pictures Classics is distributing ‘I Saw the Light.’ This film is a perfect fit, especially given their passion for country music, and we could not be in better hands.”
If I Saw The Light does find itself in Oscar contention, it could be doing battle with another music biography. The highly-anticipated Straight Outta Compton film about the rise of gangsta rap group NWA is already receiving great buzz in the music and entertainment industry. It is set to be released August 8th.