Cash film opens Friday

Jimi Norman

20th Century Fox will be releasing the much-anticipated autobiographical story of music legend Johnny Cash titled, “Walk The Line,” this Fri. Nov. 18.

The film stars Joaquin Phoenix as Cash and Reese Witherspoon as wife June Carter Cash. Before Cash’s death in 2003, production had already started on the film, which had been passed on by most of the major motion picture production companies. Before production began on the film, it took four years to secure the rights to Cash’s story from his family, and to add to that, another four years to make the film. This is a film almost a decade in the making.

Phoenix, in portraying Cash in “Walk the Line,” did all of his own singing and learned to play the guitar from scratch. In an interview with “Time Out” magazine of London, Phoenix admitted that he took his role as Johnny Cash a little too seriously. In addition to learning to mimic the behavior of Johnny Cash, Phoenix also picked up an alcohol dependency. After finishing production of “Walk the Line,” Phoenix reportedly checked himself into a rehab clinic. Reese Witherspoon was also devoted to developing her portrayal of Cash’s wife, June Carter Cash, a talented country singer in her own right.

Both Cash and his wife hand selected Phoenix and Witherspoon to play them in the film. Apparently, Johnny Cash was impressed with Phoenix’s role in “Gladiator.” Sadly, June Carter Cash died before production began on the film. Cash, known by many as “the man in black” for his trademark black suits and sunglasses was a self-made music star from rural Arkansas and had a career that spanned five decades and touched many other music legends including Bob Dylan and Willie Nelson. Even if you’re not a fan of country and country-flavored rock music, you can’t deny what a truly remarkable story this is.