The bullet points of Jeff Buckley’s life story speak to its obvious built-in biopic appeal: A rootless youth in California that led to an equally wandering, poetic existence scraping by in New York cafes; an appropriately filmic, big “debut” moment at a tribute to the estranged, similarly famous father he never knew; a swift rise to fame, followed by a retreat from the stage into self-imposed anonymous gigs after he became disillusioned with the pressures of stardom; and finally, an early death at the age of 30 as he swam out into a river singing a Led Zeppelin song he loved, then vanished in the wake of a passing boat. You couldn't ask for a more cinematic climactic scene.
Over the years, Buckley’s life has naturally formed the basis of several documentaries, but now Welcome To The Rileys director Jake Scott plans to take the next logical step by turning it into a biopic. While Scott’s turgid indie melodrama isn’t the most promising aspect of the project—though slightly more so than the fact that it’s being scripted by The Rocker’s Ryan Jaffe—Scott’s past music video work (with U2, Radiohead, and R.E.M. among others) suggests he should at least understand the source material. Even better, the deal includes the rights to all of Buckley’s songs, the key stumbling block to any music biopic. The countdown until rumors of James Franco’s attachment to this thing begins now—although he apparently won't get the part without a fight from Robert Pattinson.
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