‘Gossip Girl’s’ Penn Badgley will play ill-fated singer-songwriter Jeff Buckley

Jeff Buckley, the singer-songwriter whose haunting voice and tragic accidental death at age 30 made him a music icon, will be played by Penn Badgley (“Gossip Girl”) in an upcoming biopic.

The film, “Greetings from Tim Buckley,” centers on Jeff Buckley”s 1991 performance at his father”s tribute concert in St. Ann”s Church in New York. While there, he begins a romance with a young woman working at the event, and comes to understand the father who abandoned him. Buckley Sr., also an esteemed musician and singer, died when the younger Buckley was only 9. Jeff’s live musical debut stuns the audience and helps launch his soon-to-be-legendary career.

Jeff Buckley’s sole studio album, “Grace”, was released to critical acclaim in 1994. He accidentally drowned in 1997 near Memphis.

“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”). 

“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,” commented Patrick Milling Smith of Smuggler Films in a statement. “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,” he added. “Penn”s audition blew us away and we knew we found our star.”

“To play a man who was singularly gifted as an artist, greatly misunderstood & mythologized as a human being… It’s something very special and sacred,” Penn Badgley said. “I’m going to give all I can to this project.”

Badgley is probably best-known for his role on the CW’s “Gossip Girl,” and has also appeared in such films as “John Tucker Must Die” and “Easy A.” He’ll soon be seen in the indie drama “Margin Call,” with Kevin Spacey, Stanley Tucci and Demi Moore. 

“Greetings from Tim Buckley” will start production this August in New York City. 

Do you think Badgley’s a good choice to play Jeff Buckley?

Watch Badgley discussing “Easy A” here: