Cornell Iral Haynes Jr a.k.a Nelly, the multi-platinum hip hop artist, entrepreneur and actor, has been cast as the late legend and rock n' roll electric guitar pioneer Chuck Berry in the forthcoming Buddy Holly biopic; Clear Lake. The film is being directed by Bruce Beresford (Driving Miss Daisy) with a screenplay by Patrick Shanahan. The movie has been authorised by the Buddy Holly estate through record label BMG, which managers the Holly estate and US publisching rights to the late icon's recording catalogue.
The Irish actor Ruairi O'Connor (The Spanish Princess) has been cast for the role of Buddy Holly, with Colin Hanks as Holly’s manager and producer Norman Petty.
Diane Guerrero (Orange IS The New Black star) has been cast in the role of Holly’s wife, Maria Elena Holly.
The real Maria Elena Holly will be an associate producer on Clear Lake.
“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 characterisations," Beresford told Variety earlier this year.
“Needless to say, the added plus of all the wonderful music was also a major lure.”
The film will take a look at Buddy Holly's rise alongside his rock n' roll peers in the 50's. Holly died in the early hours of February 3, 1959 at the age of 22 when the Beechcraft Bonanza aircraft carrying him and fellow musicians Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper took off from the local runway in Mason City, Iowa close to where the had been performing at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake.
A release date for the film is TBC.