I don’t know much in the way of Gossip Girl, but this guy voiced the hell out of Mario Tennis. Penn Badgley, the privileged-teen soap opera’s “Lonely Boy” with a growing-elitism arc (my sister just gave me a thirty-minute tutorial), has been cast to portray deceased singer-songwriter Jeff Buckley in the upcoming Greetings from Tim Buckley. The film chronicles a period of days preceding his debut at a tribute concert for his musician father. Daniel Algrant will direct.
Those who were fans of Buckley beyond crying to a download of “Hallelujah” when your best friend left for college might find Badgley’s resume a little discouraging. He seems to have stuck pretty adherently to teen-directed comedy/dramas. But to be honest, I’m a fan of his work. I’m just about the only person who has ever seen either Do Over or The Brothers Garcia, and my fourteen year-old self though his performances immaculate in both.
Producer Patrick Milling Smith of Smuggler Films had nothing but positive things to say about Badgley’s audition, stating that in the year the crew spent seeking a star, Badgley was far and beyond the best candidate. And if he’s good enough for Patrick Milling Smith…
It had been rumoured Badgley was close to signing to portray the musician and had beaten an eager Robert Pattinson to the role.
Movie producer Orian Williams spoke out and slammed the reports, insisting Badgley had nothing to do with his film and Pattinson had only been engaged in several early-stage talks.
However, it turns out the TV star will play his idol on-screen - but in a different biopic.
Badgley will tackle the lead role in upcoming project Greetings From Tim Buckley, named after the star's father and focusing on his estranged relationship with his dad.
In a statement, the actor says, "To play a man who was singularly gifted as an artist, greatly misunderstood & mythologised as a human being... It's something very special and sacred. I'm going to give all I can to this project."
Smuggler Films' Patrick Milling Smith adds, "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."
Buckley drowned in a Memphis, Tennessee river in 1997 at the age of 30.