Hollywood sets sights on Clear Lake for upcoming Buddy Holly film
Sevan Garabedian from Montreal, Canada, has spent the last decade tracking down fans who attended iconic rocker Buddy Holly's final "Winter Dance Party" tour in 1959 in cities around the Midwest. Holly and other stars died in a plane crash on Feb. 3, 1959, north of Clear Lake, Iowa.
The day the music died is coming to life on the silver screen.
A film focused on famed 1950s rock 'n' roll act Buddy Holly, including his final show at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, is in development. The film, coined "Clear Lake," plans to begin production in February 2019, coinciding with the 60th anniversary of Holly's 1959 death.
The film comes via Prix Productions, a newly-launched company fronted by marketing executive Rick French and film veteran Patrick Shanahan. The duo previously worked together on “The Fox Hunter,” a drama starring Ira David Wood III, Reece Thompson and Madison Iseman that’s out later this year.
“The film will follow Buddy Holly and fellow Rock And Roll Hall of Famer Clarence Collins, founder of Little Anthony & The Imperials, as they tour together in the racially charged days of 1958 as part of the ‘Biggest Show of Stars Tour,’” a news release said.
"Clear Lake" plans to be produced on a $12 million budget in association with Maria Elena Holly, Buddy Holly’s widow, the Buddy Holly Educational Foundation and BMG, the company that manages Holly's domestic publishing rights.
Casting begins this fall, a news release said.
Buddy Holly performed a number of songs synonymous with 1950s American pop culture during his brief career, including “Peggy Sue," "That'll Be The Day" and "Maybe Baby."
Buddy Holly, a 1986 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, Ritchie Valens and “Big Bopper” JP Richardson died in a plane crash outside Clear Lake on Feb. 3, 1959, following a gig at the Surf Ballroom.
The film announcement comes 40 years after the release of "The Buddy Holly Story," an Academy Award-winning biographical film starring Gary Busey.