UPDATE: Penn Badgley has NOT been cast in the untitled Jeff Buckley biopic, according to the film's co-producer, Orian Williams.
"Penn is not involved in the film at all," Williams said in a phone interview with the Los Angeles Times. "It's crazy how these stories get out."
When asked about Robert Pattinson being a contender for the role of the late singer-songwriter, Williams said that although he's a fan of the "Twilight" star, he'd only had preliminary meetings with him.
Casting for the project probably won't begin until October.
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When you've got three of young Hollywood's hottest stars battling for the lead in your film (before it even has a title), you know you're doing something right.
That's exactly the situation director Jake Scott found himself in when Oscar-nom James Franco, "Twilight" heartthrob Rob Pattinson and "Gossip Girl" thesp Penn Badgley started battling for the lead role in a biopic about Jeff Buckley, the famed musician who died at 30.
Sure, watching these three duke it out was probably fun for a while, but ultimately, a decision had to be made — and (perhaps surprisingly) rumor has it that Badgley's nabbed the part.
Franco has so much going on he might not even have noticed, but how is poor Rob holding up?
According to an unnamed insider, Rob "is devastated he's lost out on the one role he really wanted… [he] was really pushing himself to get it." The source tells Hollywood Life, "Rob hasn't heard 'no' a lot lately, so he's really bummed. He was passionate about this project."
If the rumors are true, however, though Rob is disappointed, Penn is ecstatic. The same chatty insider claims "Penn thinks it's the film of a lifetime… He's been trying to push out of the 'Gossip Girl' image and knows this film will be the perfect opportunity to do so."
Can't argue with that.
And we're pretty sure Rob will find another role of a lifetime or two fall in his lap very soon.
(Originally published on June 15, 2011, at 5:23 p.m. ET)