The Hollywood Reporter Confirms that Driving Miss Daisy’s Bruce Beresford to Helm Buddy Holly Biopic
The Hollywood Reporter confirms that Bruce Beresford, director of the Oscar-winning drama Driving Miss Daisy, will helm the Buddy Holly biopic Clear Lake. Stuart Benjamin (Ray, La Bamba) is attached to produce the project that is being developed with the Buddy Holly estate.
Clear Lake will open with Holly’s teen years, then portray his 1958 Biggest Show of Stars tour with Clarence Collins, founder of Little Anthony & the Imperials, as they broke racial barriers by performing together across the U.S. in 1958.
The biopic will follow Holly’s musical ties with Little Richard, Dion, Lavern Baker, and other pop music pioneers while also bridging to Holly meeting his future bride, Maria Elena Holly. The movie will include the fateful decision to sign onto the 1959 Winter Dance Party tour that ended with a plane crash new Clear Lake, Iowa on February 3, 1959.
Executive producer Rick French told The Hollywood Reporter: “The undertone of the story is how black, Hispanic and white artists came together on the first truly integrated music tour to begin to break down color barriers, in much the same way Jackie Robinson did in professional baseball. That’s a particularly relevant story for me to tell because I co-own the minor league baseball team in Daytona Beach, Florida, where Jackie Robinson first broke baseball’s color barrier.”
“I found myself attracted to Clear Lake because the script tells the tragic story of Buddy Holly and his era in fascinating detail and with vivid characterizations. Needless to say, the added plus of all the wonderful music was also a major lure,” added Beresford.
Holly’s widow, Maria Elena Holly, serves as an associate producer for Clear Lake. The project is based on a screenplay by Patrick Shanahan who adapted French and Stephen Easley’s original story. Production is expected to begin in Fall 2020, pending sufficient safety precautions.
Cleark Lake is produced by French and Shanahan’s Raleigh-based Prix Productions in association with Stuart Benjamin Productions and BMG. Alongside Maria Elena Holly, Stephen Easley, general counsel to Ms. Holly and The Buddy Holly Educational Foundation, and Peter Bradley Jr. of The Buddy Holly Educational Foundation, serve as associate producers. Shanahan also serves as co-producer.