At one point this summer, the officially-sanctioned Jeff Buckley biopic “Mystery White Boy” was supposed to be shooting with “Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark” star Reeve Carney in the lead and Jake Scott directing, with Gemma Arterton, Olivia Thirlby, Harry Treadaway and Patricia Arquette all lining up for roles. And then…nothing. Well, it appears that not only has a new director come on board, but the project may also be looking for a new lead.
Over at Showbiz 411, Roger Friedman has dropped a pretty vague report revealing that “West Of Memphis” helmer Amy Berg is now in the director’s chair, with claims that she “Bogarted” the job from Scott. What that exactly means we’re not sure, but apparently she’s a big fan of Buckley. As for Carney, he “could be out” but again, it’s not clear why. Either way, Berg has been on a bit of a roll following her very well-received West Memphis Three doc; she also signed on to direct the thriller “Every Secret Thing” over the summer.
Penned by Ryan Jaffe (“The Rocker“), who used David Browne‘s book “Dream Brother: The Lives and Music of Jeff and Tim Buckley” to help shape the story, the film will not only chronicle the tale of the rocker who tragically died just as his career was about to explode into the stratosphere, but it will also have access to his catalog of music. But as many folks already know, there is another movie that just hit TIFF about the singer as well: “Greetings From Tim Buckley.”
Our review is coming soon, but we will say that Penn Badgley (who Friedman notes he met outside of a Shake Shack once, for some reason) is very solid in the role, delivering a surprisingly strong approximation of Buckley’s voice. It’s a nice turn. And while that film is also a look at his father’s life, it restricts the story to the events leading up to Jeff Buckley’s performance at the tribute concert for his father Tim, still doing an adequate job paying tribute to both father and son.
As for “Mystery White Boy,” we’ll see where it goes. Undoubtedly, Berg knows how to bring real lives to the big screen, so it’s in good hands. But how it moves forward from here is anyone’s guess.