Dueling biopics don’t come along that often, but we’ll be getting a few in the near future when Jake Scott goes up against Daniel Algrant and Penn Badgley with their respective biopics of singer Jeff Buckley. (There’s a third one in development, titled A Pure Drop, that Brendan Fletcher will direct, but we haven’t heard too much about it and it still seems early for that.) Scott‘s version has just landed its lead, with Deadline reporting that Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark star Reeve Carney will play him in the currently-untitled film.
This take on the musician’s life has a big advantage over all the others: the rights to the music. To be fair to Algrant‘s version, Greetings from Tim Buckley, that “takes place at a tribute concert performed before Jeff Buckley generated his own solo songs,” which means that the music he’s most famous for isn’t necessarily required. Still, if you want to really tell the singer’s story, the route that Scott and his film are going in seems to be the way to do it. His mother, Mary Guibert, will executive produce the film, which is written by Ryan Jaffe.
One of the songs that will be appearing is “Hallelujah,” which was originally written and performed by Leonard Cohen; Buckley covered it for his first and only album to be released while still alive, Grace, and it’s seen as one of the signature results of his career. Those expecting it to be used in the same fashion as Watchmen will probably be disappointed, however.
Carney hasn’t had too many screen credits to his name thus far — he was recently seen in The Tempest and Spread, while also appearing in a certain Ethan Hawke movie that served as the basis for a great joke in Horrible Bosses — and when the biggest part in your career is playing Spider-Man in the Broadway musical, you might want to attach yourself to something that has a chance at being good; luckily for him, this might be it. I have to admit that Buckley‘s music is something that I have only the smallest possibly familiarity with, but reading about his life and knowing that a talented guy like Jake Scott is directing leads me to think that there’s a fair amount of potential in this. Shooting will begin in November, with a release in late 2012 seeming likely.
Are you a fan of Buckley? Do you think that Carney is a good choice to play him?
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