What Happened to Garth Brooks’ Movie About Chris Gaines?
Garth Brooks' intricate 1999 transformation into the fictional rock star Chris Gaines came complete with an elaborate personal backstory, including Gaines' own VH1 Behind the Music episode. All the bells and whistles surrounding the Gaines story were supposed to lead to a movie called The Lamb, starring Gaines as its central character. However, the project never came to fruition.
To get a sense of why the film never got off the ground, it's important to understand how Brooks went about hyping the project and its central character. The Lamb was conceived as a suspense thriller about a Gaines superfan who sets out to prove that Gaines was murdered.
However, instead of teasing the project's release the way a movie would traditionally be hyped, Brooks (as Gaines) released what he called a "pre-soundtrack," Garth Brooks Presents ... In the Life of Chris Gaines. That 1999 project doubled as a "greatest hits" album of sorts for Gaines, collecting what were supposed to be the biggest songs from the previous 15 years of Gaines' (fictional) hit-filled career.
Perhaps, in the end, Brooks' own elaborately constructed Gaines rabbit hole got the best of him. After releasing In the Life of Chris Gaines, Brooks continued to tease the movie on a couple of televised appearances. In an NBC special, he weaved between acting as himself, discussing Gaines as if he were another artist, and acting as Gaines, performing songs from the fictional star's discography.
Equally bizarre was Brooks' next appearance on Saturday Night Live, during which he hosted the show as himself and performed as Gaines. In that episode, he appeared in a sketch with cast member Tracy Morgan, who poked fun at Gaines.
While Brooks-as-Gaines' appearances promoting the movie certainly entertained audiences, they elicited laughter and cheering -- not exactly the kind of reaction you'd expect for the trailer to a thriller movie. Additionally, Gaines' role in the movie -- and his relationship to Brooks -- was never quite clear. The project's big ambitions proved unwieldy, and eventually, plans to release The Lamb fizzled out.
Even so, it wasn't the only time that Brooks considered an acting role in a feature film. He turned down a leading role in the 1996 film Twister, and a major role in 1998's Saving Private Ryan. To learn more about why, and to get all the details about what happened in the aftermath of The Lamb, press play above to watch this week's episode of The Secret History of Country Music, from The Boot's partner site, Taste of Country.
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