The race between the two competing Jeff Buckley biopics is heating up.
“Greetings from Tim Buckley,” in which a just-starting-out Jeff Buckley (played by “Gossip Girl” star Penn Badgley) performs at a 1991 tribute concert for his late father Tim, has just added Anthrax bassist Frank Bello as punk rock legend Richard Hell. Frank Wood (“Changeling”) has also joined the cast, according to Variety.
The film will also star Imogen Poots, Bill Sadler and U.K. singer Kate Nash.
Although the folksy leanings of Tim Buckley’s music seem oceans apart from the arty punk employed by Hell in seminal NYC ’70s bands Television and the Voidoids (not to mention the frantic ’80s thrash of Anthrax), there is a valid connection: Hell performed at the Tim Buckley tribute. How big of a role Bello will have is yet to be seen. Starcasm.net has some on-set photos of Badgley as Buckley.
“Greetings,” which has just started shooting, will have to fight an uphill battle against the other Buckley biopic. That as-yet-untitled film from director Jake Scott (“Welcome to the Rileys”) stars Reeve Carney (Spider-Man in the beleaguered Broadway musical “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark”) as the troubled singer-songwriter, and has the full backing of Jeff Buckley’s estate (including Buckley’s mother). It’s currently in pre-production.
Jeff Buckley died in 1997 at age 30. He left behind a small but influential collection of recordings, including his sole full-length album, 1994’s “Grace.”