UPDATE: a third biopic centered on the late musician Jeff Buckley is wending its way to the silver screen. Deadline.com reports “A Pure Drop” is being prepared by Australian director Brendan Fletcher (2010′s “Mad Bastards“) with a script based on the book “A Pure Drop: The Life of Jeff Buckley.”
In the meantime, a biopic from filmmaker Jake Scott now has its leading man. Reeve Carney has inked a deal to topline the film, which is set to begin production in November. Carney is currently starring on Broadway in “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark.”
Carney boasts “the perfect combination of musical prodigy, impish charm, innate intelligence and sensitivity to play Jeff,” Scott said. The director and actor also have a bit of a Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon connection: Scott has helmed videos for U2, whose members Bono and The Edge wrote the music for “Turn Off the Dark.”
However, first out of the gate is “Greetings from Tim Buckley” from director Dan Algrant began filming this month in Brooklyn. That one has “Gossip Girl” heartthrob Penn Badgley in the lead role. (Tim Buckley, Jeff’s father, was also a musician who died young.)
See our earlier story below for more details.
Young Hollywood heartthrob Penn Badgley is set to film a biopic based on the life of musician Jeff Buckley, whose untimely death in 1997 from an accidental drowning, at age 30, still resonates with fans and music-lovers. Daniel Algrant is directing for Smuggler Films. The movie is currently titled “Greetings from Tim Buckley,” a nod to Jeff’s influential, cult-fave musician father, who also died young.
The new film “will focus on Jeff Buckley’s breakthrough as a musician at a 1991 tribute concert for his late father,” wrote the “Los Angeles Times“ arts blog “24 Frames,” which asked in its headline: “Is it a good idea?”
Badgley is best known for the soapy drama “Gossip Girl,” which “isn’t the first piece of entertainment one thinks of when the singer’s name is mentioned,” mused the ‘Times,’ even if Badgley’s Dan Humphrey is “the most soulful and poetic of the ‘Gossip Girl’ characters.”
“Greetings from Tim Buckley” beat another film to the starting line. Director Jake Scott, son of powerhouse helmer Ridley Scott, announced his own Jeff Buckley biopic this past April. “The films are being conceived somewhat differently,” the ‘Times’ reports. “Scott’s is more of a lock at Buckley’s life and career; the Badgley film will focus on a single identity-forcing event.”
Fans have called for the prolific and perhaps over-scheduled James Franco to play the title role in Scott’s film; he hasn’t responded publicly. However, “Twilight” matinee idol Robert Pattinson has openly expressed interest.
That film doesn’t have a title, leading man or start date, but it has locked up one key ingredient: the rights to Buckley’s music catalog, which is controlled by his mother Mary Guibert, as well as the biography “Dream Brother: The Lives and Music of Jeff and Tim Buckley,” by David Browne. (The Badgely film has secured the rights to Tim’s music.)
CLICK HERE for the “Los Angeles Times” blog post.
CLICK HERE for an Indiewire.com post.