Finally one of the most under-appreciated, but wildly-influential lyricists in country music, one of country music’s forgotten Outlaw artists, and one of America’s most creative personalities is going to get his due on the silver screen. Shel Silverstein is slated to receive the biopic treatment in a film called A Boy Named Shel—a play on words of the song “A Boy Named Sue” made famous by Johnny Cash, and written by Shel. The movie will be a screen adaptation of the book A Boy Named Shel: The Life and Times of Shel Silverstein written by Lisa Rogak reports Variety.
The beauty of Shel Silverstein was that he was so many different things to so many different people. To many children and adults who grew up with his books, he was a master poet and illustrator, entertaining generations with his releases such as A Light In The Attic and Where The Sidewalk Ends. To others he was a legendary cartoonist for Playboy Magazine. Still others know him as a lyricist of the rock and roll world, penning the iconic tunes “Cover of Rolling Stone” and “Sylvia’s Mother” for Dr. Hook. While others remember Shel for his country music contributions, including writing songs for other famous songwriters, not limited to Waylon Jennings, Kris Kristofferson, Tompall Glaser, and Bobby Bare. Bobby Bare once released an entire album of Shel songs. Silverstein also was a noted performer himself and released numerous albums, and also worked in the theater realm.
A Boy Named Shel will explore the “personal and professional struggles” of Shel Silverstein’s life. Silverstein died in 1999 at the age of 68 at his home in Key West. The film is being developed by Wonderland Vision and Sound, known for such films as We Are Marshall and Terminator Salvation. Adapting the book for film will be writers Chris Shafer and Vicknair, and Wonderland Vision principals McG and Mary Viola are producing, along with Sean Sorensen and Mathew Cullen.
No word as of yet on whose bald head will reprise the famous cranium of one of America’s most beloved poets and entertainers, or any other casting news. But all signs point to A Boy Named Shel being a big production movie that will hopefully shine a greater light on the man and his work. Shel joins a growing list of country greats receiving the biopic treatment recently. In June it was announced a Hank Williams biopic was in the works, and Waylon Jennings is also supposed to be receiving a feature film soon. Johnny Cash’s I Walk The Line went on to be an award-winning account of the Man in Black, and went a long way to revitalizing interest in the country music great.