Reeve Carney (actor-singer-songwriter and star of Broadway’s Spiderman: Turn off the Dark; pictured) will play Jeff Buckley in an untitled film. The film, based on Ryan Joffe’s story The Rocker, will be directed by Jake Scott (Welcome to the Rileys), and has the exclusive rights to Buckley’s music and personal archives, thanks to support from the late musician’s mother, Mary Guibert (also serving as exec producer.) Carney will play Buckley as the film navigates through his thirty years, leading up to his accidental drowning in Tennesse’s Wolf River. The film will shoot in New York and Memphis starting this November. Carney also has a self-titled band (Carney) which has opened for U2. Scott says Carney has; “the perfect combination of musical prodigy, impish charm, innate intelligence & sensitivity to play Jeff.” More information on this project is below. Here is a selection of Buckley’s music.
The other Buckley film in the works, Greetings from Jeff Buckley, is set to star Penn Badgley (Gossip Girl). It is writer-director Daniel Algrant’s (with co-writers Emma Sheanshang and David Brendel) take on the days leading up to Buckley’s 1991 tribute performance for his father, Tim Buckley. Buckley met his father once as a boy, before he died of a drug overdose in 1975. Imogen Poots will co-star as a woman he meets during the concert. John Hart, Patrick Milling Smith and Frederick Zollo are producing. Oh, and then there’s A Pure Drop in the works, which would be the third Buckley biopic.
More on the untitled Buckley film, which is being produced by Michelle Sy and Orian Williams with associate producer Alison Raykovich (of Jeff Buckley Music):
The as-yet untitled script is based on screenwriter Jaffe’s in-depth examination and research into Buckley’s life, which includes scores of interviews, unlimited access to the Jeff Buckley Estate archives, and Jeff’s personal journals, drawings, and letters. Producers also optioned the book “Dream Brother: The Lives and Music of Jeff and Tim Buckley” by David Browne, for research purposes.
Buckley’s only studio release during his lifetime was the widely acclaimed album Grace, which includes his legendary interpretation of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” and is acknowledged by critics as a modern classic. His momentous posthumous album, Sketches for My Sweetheart the Drunk, garnered a Grammy nomination for Best Male Rock Vocal for the song “Everybody Here Wants You.” Captivated by the world of music, Buckley lived and breathed it until the last moments of his life. He had said, “I was captured by music at a really early age…It was my mother, it was my father, it was my plaything, my toy. The best thing in my life.”
[Image courtesy of Ap/Marvel]