EXCLUSIVE: Tribeca Film and Focus World have picked up Greetings From Tim Buckley, starring Gossip Girl’s Penn Badgley. Tribeca will release the Daniel Algrant-directed film theatrically next year, with the companies working together on VOD and other digital platforms. The film, which debuted at this year’s Toronto Film Festival, follows Jeff Buckley in the days leading up his 1991 tribute concert to his distant and now deceased father. Badgley plays the younger Buckley, who shot to fame in the 1990s before drowning in Tennessee’s Wolf River in 1997. Imogen Poots also stars. Algrant, Emma Sheanshang and David Brendel penned the screenplay; the Smuggler Films pic was produced by Patrick Milling Smith, John Hart, Amy Nauiokas and Fred Zollo. Tribeca Film’s director of acquisitions Nick Savva; and Focus’ EVP Strategic Planning, Business Affairs and Acquisitions Avy Eschenasy and Kent Sanderson, Director, Alternative Content & Distribution, negotiated the deal with CAA and Hengameh Panahi of Celluloid Dreams for the filmmakers. Greetings is the first of three Buckley films to be released: Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark’s Reeve Carney signed on last year for another Buckley biopic, and Mad Bastards director Brendan Fletcher is mounting is A Pure Drop, based on the book A Pure Drop: The Life Of Jeff Buckley.
EXCLUSIVE: Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark star Reeve Carney has signed on to play Jeff Buckley in the untitled film about the late musician that Welcome to the Rileys helmer Jake Scott is putting together for a November shoot. Carney, who performed the Bono/The Edge-penned Spider-Man single Rise Above 1 at the American Idol finale, will do all the singing to bring to life the music of Buckley, who was just getting started as a solo artist when he drowned at age 30.
Considering that Buckley had only released a single album when he died in 1997 after getting caught in the wake of a passing boat in Tennessee’s Wolf River, it seems amazing that there are not one but three feature films about him. The first one to start production will be Greetings From Tim Buckley, the Dan Algrant-directed indie film that starts a four-week shoot Monday in Brooklyn. Conventional wisdom that the first film out of the gate wins doesn’t necessarily apply here; these two projects tell very different stories about Buckley. Scott is making a biopic, while Greetings From Tim Buckley stars Gossip Girl’s Penn Badgley as a pre-fame Jeff Buckley who reconnects with his estranged father Tim by singing at a tribute concert for his folk-singer dad. In Algrant’s film, that short adventure forged Jeff Buckley’s own solo aspirations. The other Buckley film is called A Pure Drop and it is being mounted by Mad Bastards director Brendan Fletcher. The title comes from the book A Pure Drop: The Life of Jeff Buckley.
New York, NY (June 20, 2011) – Smuggler Films announced today Penn Badgley will star in the much anticipated film Greetings from Tim Buckley. He will play Tim Buckley’s son Jeff in the first film to be made about the musicians. There has been much speculation regarding the casting of Jeff Buckley as many of Hollywood’s hottest stars were interested in playing one of the most remarkable music artists of his generation. Greetings from Tim Buckley was written by Dan Algrant, Emma Sheanshang and David Brendel and will be directed by Dan Algrant (People I Know, Naked in New York).
Greetings from Tim Buckley follows 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. Through a romance with a young woman working at the concert, he comes to understand the father who abandoned him. Culminating in a cathartic performance of his father’s most famous songs, Jeff’s debut stuns the audience and launches his career as one of the greatest young musicians of his time.
EXCLUSIVE: Welcome To The Rileys helmer Jake Scott has been set to direct an untitled film about Jeff Buckley, the rising star musician who died tragically at age 30 in 1997. Scott will direct a script by Ryan Jaffe (The Rocker). Michelle Sy and Orian Williams are producing, and Buckley’s mother Mary Guibert will be exec producer.
Buckley, son of the famed but troubled folk musician Tim Buckley, became an influence on musicians from Kurt Cobain to Coldplay. He shunned the spotlight, though, preferring to play small clubs and who for a long time played as a session guitarist to make a living. He recorded one hit album, Grace, and was on his way to doing another when he jumped into Tennessee’s Wolf River, fully clothed, for a spontaneous swim. He got caught in the wake of a passing boat and drowned.