Even though “‘Greetings From Tim Buckley” starts shooing this month with Penn Badgley and Imogen Poots leading the film, there are some differences between this project and previously announced Jake Scott directed Jeff Buckley biopic. ‘Greetings’ will take place entirely before Jeff became a star, centering around his 1991 performance at a tribute concert for this father (and thus, the rights for his music aren’t needed, nor have they been granted). Scott’s untitled film, on the other hand, is presenting a much more thorough look at the life of the singer, using David Browne‘s book “Dream Brother: The Lives and Music of Jeff and Tim Buckley” as a resource, with full and exclusive access to the Buckley archives. So even though they are competing films, the scope and focus between the two is quite different, and while word on Scott’s film had been quiet for a while, he’s now found his Jeff Buckley.
This afternoon, the filmmakers announced that Reeve Carney (of the band Carney) has landed the plum lead role in the forthcoming film. Carney certainly has the chops to pull off the musical aspects of the job, most notably playing Peter Parker in the infamously disastrous “Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark” on Broadway (the rest of his band plays in the pit orchestra) and his skills are legit; Carney opened for U2 and Arcade Fire on July 30th, the final date of the Irish band’s massive, two year world tour.
Ryan Jaffe (”The Rocker”) has penned the script, which will track the singer’s life from his start in New York City playing clubs around town to the release of his only album “Grace,” in 1994 and his tragic death in the spring of 1997 when he drowned while swimming in Wolf River Harbor, pulled under by the wake of a boat. Of course, the big question will be if Carney can only just replicate the tunes (we presume he’ll be personally performing the songs, not just lipsynching), but deal with the emotional core of the singer as well. But Scott is convinced, “We are excited to have found in Reeve the perfect combination of musical prodigy, impish charm, innate intelligence & sensitivity to play Jeff.”
Production on the film will roll in November with filming to take place in New York and Memphis. With three Jeff Buckley movies on the way (there is also an Aussie production titled “A Pure Drop” in the works), let’s hope at least one of them does the singer justice on the big screen.