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Penn Badgley to Star in Jeff Buckley Biopic

Scott Gries, Getty Images

Penn Badgley knows what he’ll be doing on his next ‘Gossip Girl’ hiatus.

He’s landed the lead in the upcoming Jeff Buckley biopic ‘Greetings from Tim Buckley, which will dramatize the events leading up to the singer’s rapturously received performance at a 1991 tribute concert for his late father.

In a statement, Badgley expressed his excitement, saying “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.”

The Buckley story has been a source of fascination and heartbreak for generations of fans — Tim Buckley died at the age of 28 after overdosing on heroin, and Jeff was 30 when he drowned in 1997. Though Jeff was only able to complete one studio album before he died (‘Grace,’ released in 1994), his music has continued to attract fans and followers — mirroring his father’s steadily growing posthumous legacy.

Producer Patrick Milling Smith discussed Badgley’s casting in the role, saying “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.”

‘Greetings from Tim Buckley’ will have to fight for screen space with another Buckley biopic in the works — and one that’s coming together with the blessing of the singer’s family. Director Jake Scott is currently working with Jeff’s mother and Tim’s widow, Mary Guibert, on what the family is calling the official Buckley film, with an eye toward filming in the fall.

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