Colin Hanks, Diane Guerrero, and hip-hop star Nelly are the latest to join the cast of Clear Lake, the upcoming biopic about the iconic 1950s musician Buddy Holly.
Variety reports that Hanks, Guerrero, and Nelly have been added to the Clear Lake cast, joining Irish actor Ruairi O’Connor, who has been cast as the legendary musician. The film, directed by Bruce Beresford, will tell the story of how Holly and other musicians in the late 1950s “gave birth to rock ‘n’ roll.”
Hanks, best known for his role in Fargo, will co-star as Norman Petty, “Holly’s brilliant but often controlling manager and producer.” Doom Patrol and Orange is the New Black breakout star Guerrero will play Holly’s wife, Maria Elena Holly. And Nelly will play Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Chuck Berry, in his first major feature acting role.
Here is the logline for Clear Lake, via Variety:
“Clear Lake” tells the story of how Holly and other famous musicians of the late 1950s gave birth to rock ‘n’ roll while changing the trajectory of civil rights in America. The 22-year-old Holly tragically died in a plane crash outside Clear Lake, Iowa, on Feb. 3, 1959, along with Ritchie Valens, J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson and pilot Roger Peterson.
Patrick Shanahan, who adapted Easley and French’s original story, penned the screenplay and is a co-producer. He and French are partners in Raleigh-based Prix Productions, with Easley serving as general counsel.
The movie is being produced by Rick French of Prix Productions and Stuart Benjamin of Stuart Benjamin Productions, in association with BMG, which manages the Buddy Holly estate and controls the U.S. publishing rights to the musicians’ catalog. David Hirshland and Kathy Rivkin Daum are producing on behalf of BMG. Maria Elena Holly, Stephen Easley (general counsel to Mrs. Holly and The Buddy Holly Educational Foundation) and Peter Bradley, Jr., of The Buddy Holly Educational Foundation, are associate producers.
There’s not much to add about Clear Lake, which joins the legions of countless biopics about musical legends that have been churned out of Hollywood lately. In the wake of a damning satire like Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, you’d hope that Hollywood would get more inventive about music biopics, but with the Oscar sweep of the generic Bohemian Rhapsody, that doesn’t seem to be the case. Still, there are biopics that are testing the limits of the genre, like the inventive Elton John biopic Rocketman or the fourth-wall breaking Tesla. I can’t say I have much hope for Clear Lake, however, but I am open to being proven wrong.
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