Hallelujah: Penn alum to write Jeff Buckley biopic film

If you recall, I covered screenwriter Ryan Jaffe (C’96) when he wrote THIS film a couple years back.

Since then, Ryan, has penned a script about the life of singer Jeff Buckley.

In case you’re not familiar with who Jeff Buckley is, per Deadline,

“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.”

After the jump, learn how Ryan got involved in this project and how perseverance paid off (must read!)

UPenn and Ryan Jaffe and Jeff BuckleyI chatted with Ryan and he gave us some inside scoop:

How did you get involved in the project? (another Penn alum story of perseverance!)

“I’ve been friends with Michelle Sy (one of the producers) for many years and begged her repeatedly for a chance to write this project. She kind of blew me off and repeatedly replied, “Come up with a take.” I was up one night writing, listening to Jeff Buckley’s “Live at Sin-e,” when I literally had an epiphany as to what this movie should be. I quickly called Michelle, told her my idea, and that Saturday I was having brunch with Jeff’s mom, Mary Guibert. I pitched her my idea and she hugged me and told me that I was her guy. From there it was about three months of research, trying to meet everyone that ever knew Jeff in any way, listening to everything he ever did, live or recorded, and then almost another six months of writing.”

What would DT readers be most interested to learn about Jeff Buckely?

“I think Jeff Buckley is easily one of the most underrated and misunderstood musicians of his generation. People that know him love him, but still not enough people know who he is. Hopefully this film will change that. In terms of being misunderstood, it seems that the majority of people, his fans included, assume that he was this broody, dark, melancholic personality. In reality he was the exact opposite. He was tremendously funny, an amazing mimic and an all around goofy guy. His heroes as a kid were Led Zeppelin and George Carlin. I can’t wait for audiences to see this side of him. On a historical level, it is uncanny how many musicians credit Jeff Buckley as an inspiration. Someone pointed out that he was like Paige and Plant combined. Had he lived, I think the world at large would have agreed.”

More DT stories about Penn writers HERE

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