Dolly Parton Working on Musical Film About Her Life and Career

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

Dolly Parton is plotting a musical film around her life and career. Previously focused on a Broadway musical, Parton switched gears to focus on a movie instead following the pandemic.

“We were talking about doing my Broadway musical, and we were really, really far out ahead of that, and then the COVID hit and that changed my mind about a whole lot of things,” shared Parton. “I do intend someday to be on Broadway, but I’m thinking now that I might do my life story as a feature. Maybe possibly even a musical feature. So we’re in talks about that.”

Joking that she may play herself in her later years, Parton said that actresses she originally wanted to play her have aged out of the role since the project has been in development for many years but previously mentioned Kristin Chenoweth as a fitting option.

“I love Kristin Chenoweth,” said Parton in 2020. “She’s just absolutely fantastic.”

‘Run, Rose, Run’ Album Cover

She added, “Years and years ago, when I was going to do the Broadway musical—I never can get it to how I want it, but I’m still working on it. But I thought she’d be an ideal person to do that. But we’re all getting older now, so if we tell the parts…we may be able to have different Dollys. We’d probably have to have—as long as my career has been—like a little Dolly, and a middle Dolly, and then the older one. And she’d still be great for that.”

Parton also added that she thinks Jim Carrey could play the late Porter Wagoner, her longtime collaborator earlier on in her career.

To accompany her co-authored novel Run, Rose, Run, with James Patterson, the story of a young singer-songwriter who runs away to Nashville to pursue her musical dream no matter what the cost, Parton also wrote and recorded a new 12-song album of the same name. Co-produced by Richard Dennison and Tom Rutledge, the Run, Rose, Run album mirrors the storyline of the book, and to an extent, Parton’s own career.

“So many people come to Nashville with their sack of songs,” said Parton in an earlier statement around the release of the title track. “Whether they’re running from anything or not, they’re running towards a future.”

Photo: Stacie Huckeba/Butterfly Records LLC

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