Colin Hanks, Diane Guerrero and Nelly Join Buddy Holly Biopic ‘Clear Lake’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Dave McNary
·2 min read

Colin Hanks, Diane Guerrero and hip-hop star Nelly have joined the cast of the Buddy Holly biopic “Clear Lake,” directed by Bruce Beresford.

“Clear Lake” tells the story of how Holly and other famous musicians of the late 1950s gave birth to rock ‘n’ roll while changing the trajectory of civil rights in America. The 22-year-old Holly tragically died in a plane crash outside Clear Lake, Iowa, on Feb. 3, 1959, along with Ritchie Valens, J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson and pilot Roger Peterson.

Hanks (“Fargo”) will co-star as Norman Petty, Holly’s brilliant but often controlling manager and producer. “Orange Is the New Black” star Guerrero has been cast in the role of Holly’s wife, Maria Elena Holly. Nelly, who is currently appearing on ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars,” will play Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Chuck Berry.

Variety reported on Oct. 8 that Ruairi O’Connor had been cast as Holly in “Clear Lake.” The movie is being produced by Rick French of Prix Productions and Stuart Benjamin of Stuart Benjamin Productions, in association with BMG, which manages the Buddy Holly estate and controls the U.S. publishing rights to his catalog.

David Hirshland and Kathy Rivkin Daum are producing on behalf of BMG. Maria Elena Holly, Stephen Easley (general counsel to Mrs. Holly and The Buddy Holly Educational Foundation) and Peter Bradley, Jr., of The Buddy Holly Educational Foundation, are associate producers.

Patrick Shanahan, who adapted Easley and French’s original story, penned the screenplay and is a co-producer. He and French are partners in Raleigh-based Prix Productions, with Easley serving as general counsel.

Hanks is represented by UTA and MGMT Entertainment, as well as Brecheen, Feldman, Breimer, Silver & Thompson; Guerrero is represented by A3 Artists Agency, Vamnation Entertainment and Jackoway, Austen, Tyerman, Wertheimer, Mandelbaum, Morris, Bernstein, Trattner & Klein. Nelly is represented by ICM Partners and J. Erving Management.

More from Variety

Best of Variety

Sign up for Variety’s Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.