”I’ve been everywhere,” sang Johnny Cash, but until now, his music hadn’t been to Broadway. That will change with Ring of Fire, a musical in the works that’s inspired by the late country legend’s life and will contain more than 40 of his songs. It’s being put together by Richard Maltby, Jr., who gave similar treatment to another American music icon, Fats Waller, in Ain’t Misbehavin’. The show will tour nationally in 2005 before opening on Broadway in 2006. A statement from producers describes the show as ”a musical celebration of the disparate stages of Mr. Cash’s extraordinary life. There will be no Johnny Cash impersonator on stage, as the star of the show is the music. Through the music, loyal fans and mere observers will discover the soul of this man who touched so many.”
Cash is also the subject of a biopic currently in production, Walk the Line, starring Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon as Johnny and June Carter Cash. Also due for biopic treatment is another musician whose name sounds like money, 50 Cent. Billboard reports that the rapper will make his film debut in Locked and Loaded, a semi-autobiographical film à la 8 Mile, the vehicle for 50 mentor Eminem. In fact, 8 Mile producers Jimmy Iovine and Paul Rosenberg are also shepherding the 50 Cent film, which will touch on the performer’s rise from drug dealer to chart-topping rapper. Terence Winter, who won an Emmy a few days ago for scripting Adriana’s swan song on The Sopranos, is the screenwriter for Locked, which should hit theaters in late 2005 or early 2006.