Rapper Nelly has been cast as rock ‘n’ roll icon Chuck Berry in a new movie about the plane crash which cost Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and the Big Bopper their lives.
“Clear Lake” will also feature Colin Hanks as Holly’s manager Norman Petty, and Diane Guerrero as the Peggy Sue singer’s wife, Maria Elena.
Ruairi O’Connor has already been cast as Buddy Holly in the Bruce Beresford movie. The three rock ‘n’ roll greats perished in a plane crash in Clear Lake, Iowa, on February, 3 1959.
Clear Lake is being produced by Rick French (Not Without Hope) of Prix Productions and Stuart Benjamin (Oscar-nominated and Grammy-winning producer of Ray and La Bamba) of Stuart Benjamin Productions, in association with BMG, which manages the Buddy Holly estate and controls the U.S. publishing rights to his catalog.
Hanks (Fargo; Mad Men) will co-star as Norman Petty, Holly’s brilliant, but often controlling manager and producer. Hanks is an accomplished actor, director and producer who has appeared in Peter Jackson’s King Kong and several Jumanji series films; and directed the acclaimed music documentaries Eagles of Death Metal: Nos Amis and All Things Must Pass: The Rise and Fall of Tower Records.
Orange Is the New Black and Doom Patrol star Guerrero has been cast opposite O’Connor in the role of Maria Elena Holly, the radiant, Puerto Rican born wife of the rock & roll legend, who along with Ritchie Valens, J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson and pilot Roger Peterson died in a plane crash outside a snowy Clear Lake, Iowa on February 3, 1959, often referred to as “the day the music died” after Don McLean famously immortalized it in his classic hit, “American Pie.”
Guerrero is the best-selling author of “In The Country We Love: My Family Divided,” a memoir about her survival and life after family separation through deportation at a young age.
Nelly, who had a supporting role in the 2005 remake of The Longest Yard and is currently appearing on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars, is one of the top-selling rap/hip-hop artists of all time. He is a double certified diamond selling artist with his debut album “Country Grammar” selling over 10 million copies in the U.S. alone.