Tracks like ‘Lilac Wine’, ‘Last Goodbye’ and Leonard Cohen’s ‘Hallelujah’ reveal just a part of the album’s and artist’s true value, despite the fact that sales were slow upon release and radio airtime was criminally sparse. Grace began to circulate and the album affected people. Buckley’s music spoke to people and inspired them, while critics from all over the country praised the young and talented songwriter. Actually, appreciation spread out and touched some of Buckley’s greatest influences, including Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin and Bob Dylan, who announced that Jeff was ‘one of the great songwriters of this decade’ – I’d never, up until now, heard Dylan compliment anybody.
It also, at some point down the line, reached Brad Pitt who had seemingly become obsessed with the music. After the singer’s tragic death, he had tried ceaselessly to get a Jeff Buckley biopic into production but his efforts in doing so were constantly halted (and arguably rightly so) by Buckley’s mother, Mary Guibert, who had been bombarded with offers and ideas regarding a possible script. She believed that Hollywood would never be fit to squeeze her son’s life into two hours, and that they were notoriously bad at portraying people they would never understand. She feared that her son’s story would circulate around depression and drug-abuse, and an exploration of what is more fantasy than truth – or what people have perhaps only wanted to believe about the young musician.
The much-awaited biopic, which is to be named ‘Mystery White Boy’ after one of Buckley’s live albums, was decided on after a letter was published on the singer’s official website from Guibert herself, announcing that after watching certain biopics, such as Ray and Finding Neverland she had decided to contact the producer of Finding Neverland, Michelle Sy along with young screenwriter, Brian Jun to help her put it together – she’d much rather be a part of the film and behind it all, than be oblivious to a project that has been an inevitability for years. She stated that ‘the possibility that it could happen without my participation set me back to re-examine why I wasn’t doing it’.
While Mary Guibert owns the rights to all of Buckley’s music, Michelle Sy has said that fans should expect a close examination of Buckley’s relationship with music and how it characterized and shaped him throughout his life. There have also been reports stating that it will look into the relationship he shared with his father, Tim Buckley and the many ironies that it brought into his life. The screenplay, unexpectedly, will not be taken out of David Browne’s biography, Dream Brother though Browne has reportedly been asked to be a part of the script. Actor and Blues Guitarist, Reeve Carney has been chosen to play the role of the young songwriter, while Patricia Arquette has been cast as Mary Guibert. The film is expected for release, early 2013.
Jeff Buckley at jeffbuckley.com
Reeve Carney to Play Jeff Buckley in Biographical Film at New York Times
Reeve Carney Lands Role as Jeff Buckley at Rolling Stone
Mystery White Boy: the Long-Awaited Jeff Buckley Film Finally Gets a Title at blog.moviefone.com