Penn Badgley's Buckley role confirmed

June 21st, 2011

Penn Badgley is to portray Jeff Buckley in a new movie, it has been confirmed.

The 'Gossip Girl' actor is thrilled to have landed the "sacred" role in 'Greetings from Tim Buckley', which chronicles the time leading up to the young singer's performance at his late father's tribute ceremony, and will be directed by co-writer Dan Algent.

Penn 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."

The film is based on true events which happened in the time leading up to Tim Buckley's 1991 tribute concert, where Jeff romanced a young woman working at the event and through the relationship came to understand the father who abandoned him as a child.

The story ends with a performance of some of Tim's most famous songs, which goes on to launch Jeff's career.

Patrick Milling Smith of Smuggler Films, who are making the movie, said. "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.

"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."

Shooting is scheduled to begin in August.

Jeff tragically drowned at the age of 30 after spontaneously deciding to go swimming fully clothed in a channel of the Mississippi River in 1997.

He only released one album, the critically acclaimed 'Grace', during his lifetime and had been in Memphis to record the follow-up to the 1994 LP.