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Upcoming film about Buddy Holly lands director Mario Van Peebles

todayApril 3, 2024

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Hulton Archive/Getty Images

A new film about Buddy Holly is in the works, and it’s now snagged a director.

Variety reports that Mario Van Peebles is set to direct That’ll Be the Day, which will focus on Holly and his fellow musicians of the 1950s, detailing how their music influenced society and culture.

“America’s tumultuous cultural melting pot has produced transcendent musical talent, including Buddy Holly, who was our first bad a** rock ’n’ roll nerd,” Van Peebles, who previously directed New Jack City and the recently released Outlaw Posse, shares about the project. 

The film’s screenplay was written by Patrick Shanahan and Matthew Benjamin. Benjamin produced the 1987 biopic La Bamba, about singer Richie Valens, who died alongside Holly and J.P. Richardson, aka The Big Bopper, in the 1959 plane crash.

That’ll Be the Day appears to have backing by the Buddy Holly estate. BMG, the company that manages the estate and controls the rights to the singer’s music catalog, is providing early funding for the film.

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