A Buddy Holly Biopic, ‘Clear Lake’, Is in the Works
A new biopic about rockabilly icon Buddy Holly, dubbed Clear Lake, is in the works. Bruce Beresford, the Oscar-nominated director behind Driving Miss Daisy and Double Jeopardy, has signed on for the project.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Clear Lake will begin with Holly as a teenager and focus largely on his 1958 Biggest Show of Stars Tour, which paired the singer with Little Anthony & the Imperials founder Clarence Collins, who is black, and crossed the racial divide of the time. "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," says Executive Producer Rick French.
Clear Lake will also spotlight Holly's ties to Little Richard, LaVern Baker and others. Additionally, the film will include bits of Holly's relationship with his widow, Maria Elena Holly, and his decision to join the 1959 Winter Dance Party Tour. It was during that trek that Holly and tourmates Ritchie Valens and JP Richardson (aka, the Big Bopper) died in a plane crash on Feb. 3, 1959, near Clear Lake, Iowa.
Maria Elena Holly is an associate producer on Clear Lake, which was developed with Holly's estate. Stuart Benjamin, who produced the 2004 Ray Charles biopic Ray, is also involved in the film, which is based on a screenplay by Patrick Shanahan. Also associate producing are Stephen Easley, Maria Elena Holly's and the Buddy Holly Educational Foundation's general counsel, and Peter Bradley Jr., also from the Buddy Holly Educational Foundation.
Casting for Clear Lake has begun (virtually, in light of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic), and has a target production start date of this fall. The movie's budget is $15-20 million.
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