‘Driving Miss Daisy’ director to work on Buddy Holly biopic

‘Clear Lake’ will be developed in association with the widow of the artist, Maria Elena Holly, and the musician’s estate. (AFP pic)

LOS ANGELES: A film on the life of the American singer-songwriter is to be directed by Bruce Beresford, the man behind the cult feature “Driving Miss Daisy,” which won four Oscars, including the award for Best Picture, in 1990.

The film entitled “Clear Lake” will be developed in association with the artist’s widow Maria Elena Holly and the musician’s estate.

It will focus on the 1958 Big Holly Show of Stars tour, which also featured Clarence Collins, co-founder of Little Anthony & The Imperials.

The tour ended prematurely with the death of Buddy Holly at the age of 22 in a plane crash not far from Clear Lake in Iowa.

Quoted in The Hollywood Reporter, producer Rick French points out that “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 colour barriers.”

The death of the musician on Feb 3 is now known to his fans as “The Day the Music Died.”

The film was originally due to be released on the 60th anniversary of the fateful date, in 2019, reports RollingStone.com.

However, when it became clear that this anniversary release would no longer be possible, Australian director Bruce Beresford was called in to take charge of the project.

In the columns of Variety, the filmmaker explains that Holly’s “wonderful music” was just one of the attractions of the “Clear Lake” script, which also “tells the tragic story of Buddy Holly and his era in fascinating detail and with vivid characterisations.”

The project will not be the first big-screen feature on the life of the rock ‘n’ roll musician, which was also the focus of the 1978 “The Buddy Holly Story,” which featured Gary Busey in an Oscar-nominated performance as the Texas-born singer.

Production of “Clear Lake” is set to begin in late 2020, pending the lifting of coronavirus restrictions. Casting for the project is already underway.