Penn Badgley Lands One Jeff Buckley Film, Competes For Second
Jeff Buckley fans may be happy to find out that leading man Penn Badgley has been cast to portray to the late musician in a new film. Greetings From TIm Buckley will chronicle the days leading up to Jeff's groundbreaking performance during a 1991 tribute concert for his late father Tim Buckley. Although this is the first project that will offer a biographical look into the younger Buckley's life, it is not the only movie in the works.
Buckley's mother, Mary Guibert, is spearheading another project that's being described as the official Jeff Buckley biopic. It will begin filming this October in New York City and Tennesse. Instead of tracking his tribute concert performance, this film will focus on the final years of Buckley's life. Unlike the Badgley version, this one will have the rights to Buckley's music, journals and photographs and include the artist's death.
Gossip Girl's Badgley will begin filming the Greetings version this August with director Dan Algrant. He allegedly beat out Robert Pattinson and James Franco to land the sought-after role. "To play a man who was singularly gifted as an artist, greatly misunderstood and mythologized as a human being … it's something very special and sacred," Badgley said in a statement. "I'm going to give all I can to this project."
The 24-year-old actor will be taking guitar and vocal lessons to perfect his portrayal of the cult favorite. He's going to need it to face some hefty Buckley biopic competition. Pattinson, who has openly campaigned for the Buckley part, is still a contender for the Guibert-led project. Producers for this untitled version have said that the Twilight actor has "expressed interest" in the role, but they are still open to other candidates.
"There are some actors who make sense, but it's easier to believe when it's more of an unknown," producers Michelle Sy and Orian Williams told E!. "We're exploring all options, everyone from big name actors to newcomers to musicians."
Buckley rose to fame in the early 1990s and solidified his rock star fame with his only studio release, Grace. He was working on his second album, My Sweetheart the Drunk, before his accidental drowning in the Mississippi River in June 1997. He was 30 years old.