Penn Badgley to portray Jeff Buckley in biopic
June 21st, 2011
05:39 PM ET

Penn Badgley to portray Jeff Buckley in biopic

James Franco and Robert Pattinson were rumored to be in the running to portray late singer/songwriter Jeff Buckley, but 24-year-old Penn Badgley was the one to snag the role.

The “Gossip Girl” and “Easy A” actor will star in the film “Greetings from Tim Buckley,” a biopic that will follow Jeff Buckley’s journey up to his famed 1991 performance at a tribute concert for his father. Thanks to a romance with a young woman working at the concert, Buckley comes to understand the father who abandoned him.

Buckley’s mother Mary Guibert, who is overseeing the project, told Australian paper the Sunday Mail that the actor who lands the part "will need a lot of self-discipline because they won't be able to fake it...It's going to take a phenomenal set of skills,” and Badgley seems to understand the pressure.

The actor said in a statement, "To play a man who was singularly gifted as an artist, greatly misunderstood and mythologized as a human being...It's something very special and sacred. I'm going to give all I can to this project.”

Producer Patrick Milling Smith added in a statement that after a thorough search, Badgley arrived as the perfect fit.

"In its purest form this is a father and son story, a rite of passage that is made possible by a romantic journey Jeff finds himself on," Smith said. "We see Jeff accepting who he is to become and laying to rest the ghost of his father while ultimately finding his voice. We had been searching well over a year for an actor that can come close to Jeff’s spirit while also having the serious musical chops required to authentically tell this story. Penn’s audition blew us away and we knew we found our star."


Filed under: Celebrities • movies

soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. Julia

    Jeff was a musical genius, I agree that he was the best musician of all time. The compositions of modern artist don't even come close... so sad that he only got to make one record, but I treasure it and so does anyone else with good taste.

    August 5, 2011 at 8:01 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Cesar The Chorizo Champ Of Chihuahua

    What his father Tim Buckley? That guy had more talent in his pinky than little Jeff.

    June 22, 2011 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
  3. somewheredfw

    are YOU serious? apparently you lack good taste in music...lemme guess you favorite..? Michael Buble?

    June 22, 2011 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • @somewheredfw

      Yes, I am serious, and you never heard of him either. You can cut the pomposity crapola. You don't know more about music than anyone else so believe me when I say this, you don't matter much either.

      June 22, 2011 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
  4. eric calderone

    Jeff Buckley is probably one of the greatest, if not the greatest, musicians of all times. That there are 2 movies in the works is most unfortunate. That the unofficial movie will probably appear first is even more unfortunate. This movie is based on David Browne's book which has the problematic thesis that Jeff and his biological father, Tim, were continually searching for each other; that their lives were linked in some supernatural manner. This is nonsense. Jeff Buckly did not even recognize Tim Buckley as his father. He was reared by Ron Moorhead, and looked to him as his father. I only hope this upcoming movie does not mislead those interested in Jeff Buckley to accept unfounded opinions about Jeff and his motives, leaving it to the Offiical Biopic to clear up the debris. For those of you who never heard of Jeff, you will be in for some serious entertainment if you make the effort to listen to his songs, either on the internet, or through purchasing some of his CDs. The effort, and whatever cost, will be paid back to you many times over.

    June 22, 2011 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Are You Serious?

      Greatest of all time? Come on dude. The guy made one record and it really wasn't that good to begin with. If he hadn't died, you wouldn't even be talking about him unless you were watching VH1's Whatever Happened Too........

      June 22, 2011 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Kay_M

    If there will be another Buckley's biopic, I think Franco has to do it. Other than the striking resemblance, I think Franco's ability will do it justice

    June 22, 2011 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Chucklehead

    I can honestly say, without malice aforethought, that I have never heard of Jeff Buckley.

    June 22, 2011 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
    • WLM

      LOL @ Chucklehead.. Me either.. But I am sure Penn will do a good job...

      June 22, 2011 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Ralph Wiggum

    My cats breath smells like cat food.

    June 22, 2011 at 10:22 am | Report abuse |
  8. mitch

    LOL :)

    June 22, 2011 at 9:57 am | Report abuse |
  9. Michelle

    Is this Tellers friend?

    June 22, 2011 at 6:47 am | Report abuse |
  10. telemander

    Listen to "Live at Sine" (accent over the e) and you will know who Jeff Buckley was. As an introduction, listen to his version of Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah. It is definitive.

    June 22, 2011 at 2:26 am | Report abuse |
  11. Name

    Im not too sure who he is but maybe things worked out for him. That woulda been a good deal.

    June 21, 2011 at 9:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • hamburger steak

      Oh yeah...he is a goober snarler. I bet he just loves C U M Dumplings.

      June 22, 2011 at 9:16 am | Report abuse |
  12. SerenityK

    There are actually TWO Jeff Buckley movies in the works. This one, that Penn Bagdley has been cast in, and another. The one that is not mentioned is the only one that has rights to use Jeff's music and the only movie to have the blessing of Jeff's mother. In fact, she's one of the actual producers of the movie. Not to mention Jake Scott is directing it. They've both been quoted with saying that casting will not take place until the fall. Notice how this report leaves all of this out? Robert Pattinson and James Franco (who has also been tied to the project) are still in the running for the REAL Jeff Buckley movie. CNN, do yourself a favor and please check your facts before reporting inaccurate information.

    June 21, 2011 at 6:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hootie and the ButtFish

      Absolutely this guy eats his on poopsie rolls.

      June 22, 2011 at 9:30 am | Report abuse |
    • @SerenityK

      You're really making a big deal about a movie about a guy nobody ever heard of. You really need to get out more.

      June 22, 2011 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
    • Mayati

      The article says that Mary Guibert is overseeing the Penn Badgley movie. The Australian newspaper article that she is quoted from calls it an authorized film... Is she not sanctioning this film?

      June 22, 2011 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mayati

      Ah, I got it. Sorry, I was confused, but I found this article:

      http://www.indiewire.com/article/the_tale_of_two_jeff_buckley_movies_which_one_will_win/

      June 22, 2011 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |

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