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Nelly cast as Chuck Berry in new Buddy Holly biopic

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Nelly has been cast as the late Chuck Berry in the forthcoming Buddy Holly biopic.

Clear Lake, which is being directed by Bruce Beresford from a screenplay written by Patrick Shanahan, has been authorised by the Buddy Holly estate through BMG, which manages the Holly estate and controls the US publishing rights to his catalogue.

  • Read more: Chuck Berry: John Lennon, Public Enemy, Anthony Kiedis and more on the man who invented rock ‘n’ roll

As Variety reports, Nelly will take on the role of rock’n’roll pioneer Berry, who died in 2017, in Clear Lake. Ruairi O’Connor has already been cast as Holly, who died in a plane crash at the age of 22 in February 1959.

Buddy Holly
Buddy Holly and The Crickets (Picture: Getty)

Colin Hanks has also been cast in the film, where he will play Holly’s manager and producer Norman Petty. Diane Guerrero is set to play Holly’s wife, Maria Elena Holly (who serves as an associate producer on the movie).

The film will “tell 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”, according to Variety.

Speaking about Clear Lake back in May, Beresford told Variety: “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.

“Needless to say, the added plus of all the wonderful music was also a major lure.”

Nelly is set to be among the performers at next year’s Rolling Loud Portugal festival.

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