Rapper Nelly to Play Chuck Berry in New Buddy Holly Biopic ‘Clear Lake,’ Alongside Colin Hanks, More


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Rapper Nelly is set to bring Chuck Berry to life in an upcoming Buddy Holly biopic titled Clear Lake, it was reported on Wednesday.

Irish actor Ruairi O’Connor is set to portray Holly, though the film focuses on more than just his career. Per Variety:

“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.

In addition to Nelly’s Chuck Berry, the film also features Colin Hanks (Tom’s son and star of the Fargo TV series, among other roles) as Norman Petty, Buddy Holly’s manager/producer, and Dianne Guerrero (of Netflix’s Orange is the New Black) as Buddy Holly’s wife, Maria Elena Holly.

Of course, this won’t be the first time somebody has brought the story of Buddy Holly to the big screen. Gary Busey portrayed him in 1978’s The Buddy Holly Story, and musician Marshall Crenshaw filled the role in 1987’s La Bamba, which focused on Ritchie Valens (as well as the plane crash, which became known as The Day the Music Died).

As for Chuck Berry, this news of Nelly securing a role playing him in a major motion picture comes on the heels of the release of Chuck Berry: The Original King of Rock ‘N’ Roll, an officially-sanctioned documentary film that is available On Demand now and on Blu-ray on Nov. 27.

Click here to pre-order the Blu-ray from our Rock Cellar Store.


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