Steve Earle’s Hank Williams Book to be Made Into Movie
Steve Earle’s I’ll Never Get Out Of This World Alive novel was released in May of 2011 by Houghton Mifflin. It is titled after a Hank Williams song that in an eerie twist of fate, was the last of Hank’s songs to be released as a single while he was still alive. The novel doesn’t involve Hank intimately, but follows the fictitious life of Toby “Doc” Ebersole who is defrocked after being Hank’s doctor at the time of Hank’s mysterious death on New Years Day, 1953 in the back of a black Cadillac. The story picks up ten years later when Ebersole is living in San Antonio, TX and is an unlicensed practitioner performing abortions and other illegal procedures to support his heroin addiction. Toby Ebersole is haunted by the ghost of Hank Williams from carrying around the guilt of killing country music’s first superstar.
No word on when production for the movie may start, or when it may be released. Hemsworth has a busy schedule coming up. He is currently filming the reboot of the Chevy Chase classic Vacation, and just wrapped up two more movies to be released in 2015: In the Heart of the Sea, and Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Hank Williams films have been all the rage lately, and so have recent actors in comic book novels starring in them. British actor Tom Hiddleston who plays the nemesis of Chris Hemsworth’s Thor character is set to star in a new biopic about Hank Williams called I Saw The Light that begins filming in Louisiana next month. Elizabeth Olsen, I Saw The Light‘s female lead playing opposite of Hiddleston as Hank’s wife Audrey, is also cast in Avengers: Age of Ultron. I Saw The Light has received criticism from Hank’s grandson Hank3 and others for casting a non American in the role. Another Hank Williams movie The Last Ride was released in 2013.
Steve Earle also released an album in 2011 called I’ll Never Get Out Of This World Alive. No word if the music will find its way into the movie soundtrack.
September 17, 2014 @ 11:19 am
I’ve heard great things about this book ”“ I’m gonna pick it up as soon as I finish Todd Snider’s book and Tom Perrotta’s The Leftovers.
September 17, 2014 @ 11:58 am
It is a great read. Pretty dark and not pretty at times but well worth your time.
September 17, 2014 @ 11:59 am
It’s a pretty good book. Hopefully the movie will be equally as good.
September 17, 2014 @ 12:25 pm
I’ll have to check out that book. I thought Family Tradition was another good book – it covers the 3 generations of Hanks, including extensive interviews with H3, and much more nuanced and sympathetic portrayals of Hank Senior and Junior than I’ve seen before.
September 17, 2014 @ 12:59 pm
“The novel doesn”™t involve Hank intimately, but follows the fictitious life of Toby “Doc” Ebersole who is defrocked after being Hank”™s doctor at the time of Hank”™s mysterious death”
Wasn’t that doctor’s name Toby Marshall? Also, I haven’t read this book, are you saying this whole story is made up and only loosely based on reality? If so, why would Steve make this up, when there was a real story, about a real doctor, that he could’ve written a real biography about? Just curious why you think he made up a fake story about a real person.
September 17, 2014 @ 1:50 pm
Earle changed the name because it is not a story about the real Toby Marshall. He said in interviews that when he was thinking about a novel his editor (who had worked on Earle’s book of short stories) suggested he link it to music in some way. A story about Hank’s washed up doctor occurred to him. As he did more research, it didn’t fit the real doctor, but he thought the fictitious story was more interesting.
The book is really about addiction, abortion, and life on the seedy side of San Antonio in the 60s (which Steve knew well), not Hank Williams. Hank generally shows up when Doc is high. It is a fun read, but Steve could have used someone to give him honest feedback. He writes well, with great characters and descriptions, but the plot and pacing is very uneven. It will be interesting to see what another writer does with the screenplay.
September 17, 2014 @ 2:14 pm
Toby Marshall is the name of the real doctor. And I use the word “real” very loosely as his medical credentials are questionable at best.
There are a lot of reasons to write a novel rather than a biography. More than likely the real story sparked an idea for a fictionalized account based on the character, and writing a historical account wouldn’t have allowed him to go in the direction he wanted to.
Plus there’s all the sourcing and stuff that has to be done if you write a historical account of a real person or event, plus getting permission to use people’s names and all sorts of other legal crap. Way easier to take a kernel or truth and make up a story surrounding it.
September 17, 2014 @ 1:25 pm
An Australian? Playing an American doctor? UNTHINKABLE!
sorry… couldn’t resist.
September 17, 2014 @ 1:53 pm
I don’t care if he’s Australian, but he is too young and pretty to play the junkie Doc from the book. I suspect he will play the ghost. Hope so, anyway.
September 17, 2014 @ 2:45 pm
Given their friendship from working together in the MCU, Do you think Tom will reprise his role as Hank from I Saw The Light ?
September 18, 2014 @ 5:41 pm
I was sure this was going to be a fake news article when I saw the picture of Hemsworth