While the competing Jeff Buckley pics continue their separate paths to production, they are marked by some notable differences. While the forthcoming untitled Reeve Carney/Jake Scott pic is approved by the late singer’s estate with full access to its archives and rights to the songs, what it won’t have is Anthrax bassist Frank Bello playing punk legend Richard Hell. Which is kind of awesome.
With filming kicking off today, “Greetings From Tim Buckley” has solidified its cast led by Penn Badgley and Imogen Poots with Norbert Leo Butz and Jessica Stone as promoters Hal Wilner and Janine Nichols; Bill Sadler as guitarist Lee Underwood and U.K. pop star Kate Nash also coming aboard. Written by Dan Algrant, Emma Sheanshang and David Brendel—with Algrant to direct— the film will tell the true story of the days leading up to Jeff Buckley’s eminent 1991 performance at his father’s tribute concert in St. Ann’s Church. There, he meets in a young woman (Poots) and they take a four day journey and he comes to understand the father who abandoned him. The film will caps off with the performance of his father’s most famous songs, a stunning performance which launched his music career.
So what’s the connection between Hell and the Buckleys? Well the Televsion and Voidoids member performed two Buckley songs at the tribute concert — “Moulin Rouge” and “Jungle Fire” — and closed with “I’m Livin’ On (Chinese Rocks)” dedicating the tune to both Buckley and Johnny Thunders who passed away a week earlier.
In case you’re wondering, this is not Bello’s first acting gig. He’s had tiny roles in a handful of television and movie projects mostly as a member of Anthrax, though he did also play “Johhny, Rocker” in an episode of “Law & Order” that we’re now going to have to track down. All this to say that Bello’s role in the film will likely be a small moment, but still something to keep an eye out for. If anything, we’re curious if we’ll get to hear Bello portraying Hell singing Tim Buckley’s songs or if he’ll just pop up looking badass in the background. [Variety]