Despite a similar project hitting screens before it could even go in front of cameras, Jake Scott’s Jeff Buckley biopic, Mystery White Boy, sounded like it had everything going for it. Whereas that other Buckley pic, Greetings from Tim Buckley, managed to get made and hit the festival circuit quite quickly (the film just bowed at TIFF, where lead actor Penn Badgely appears to be taking most of the praise for the project), that film focuses mainly on the relationship between Jeff and his dad (Tim) and doesn’t feature much Jeff music, Mystery White Boy is considered to be the “official” Buckley biopic and will come complete with actual Jeff Buckley songs. Beyond that, Scott (Welcome to the Rileys) had lined up a solid cast made of a nice mix of talents – Reeve Carney was set to play Buckley, Patricia Arquette was in to play his mom, and rumors of Olivia Thirlby, Gemma Arterton, Harry Treadaway, and John Patrick Amedori joining up had been buzzed about.
And yet. The film was set to start filming this summer, which clearly never happened, and now a curious report from Showbiz411 (via The Playlist) tells us just why. In a strangely personal post, Showbiz411’s Roger Friedman reveals that West of Memphis director Amy Berg has replaced Scott as director having, in Friedman’s own words, “bogarted” the movie away from the apparent former director. Friedman also reveals that a source has told him that Berg is “obsessed” with Buckley, though that seems like scarce motivation to chuck one director over for another. Moreover, Carney may be out of the film as well.
Friedman’s vaguely anti-Berg post continues, writing that Berg’s apparent taking of the film is similar to “the way she pushed herself into making yet another documentary about the West Memphis Three after Joe Berlinger made three prize winning films for HBO on the same subject. This woman has brass.” So, Roger Friedman, not a fan of Amy Berg.