EXCLUSIVE: Welcome To The Rileys helmer Jake Scott has been set to direct an untitled film about Jeff Buckley, the rising star musician who died tragically at age 30 in 1997. Scott will direct a script by Ryan Jaffe (The Rocker). Michelle Sy and Orian Williams are producing, and Buckley’s mother Mary Guibert will be exec producer.
Buckley, son of the famed but troubled folk musician Tim Buckley, became an influence on musicians from Kurt Cobain to Coldplay. He shunned the spotlight, though, preferring to play small clubs and who for a long time played as a session guitarist to make a living. He recorded one hit album, Grace, and was on his way to doing another when he jumped into Tennessee’s Wolf River, fully clothed, for a spontaneous swim. He got caught in the wake of a passing boat and drowned.
Music rights to Buckley’s songs are part of the rights package and the producers have also optioned the David Browne book Dream Brother: The Lives and Music of Jeff and Tim Buckley, as a resource. Browne will be a consultant. Development of the project was funded by Houston-based financier Amy Vaughan King, and the producers are currently assembling the film’s financing in anticipation of a fall start. UTA reps Scott, who has directed videos with U2, R.E.M., Radiohead, Smashing Pumpkins, The Cranberries and others. Jaffe’s repped by WME.
Here is Buckley’s rendition of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelulah, one of his most memorable songs:
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