'Martha Marcy May Marlene' Director Lining Up Janis Joplin Biopic

July 10, 2012
Source: Deadline

Janis Joplin

After taking Martha Marcy May Marlene to Sundance in 2011, the film generated a lot of buzz, but not enough to hit the awards circuit, despite a great directorial debut by Sean Durkin (he earned Best Director at the festival) and a breakthrough performance by Elizabeth Olsen, the sister of Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. Well, Durkin is moving on to his sophomore effort now, and it sounds like he'll be giving another actress a big break as Deadline reports Nina Arianda (who can be seen in small supporting roles in films like Win Win and Midnight in Paris) will play 60's rock icon Janis Joplin in the aptly titled biopic Joplin.

It likely will pale in comparison to Jenna Maroney's unauthorized biopic Jackie Jormp-Jomp from "30 Rock," but Durkin's film is only looking at the final six months of the singer's life with some flashbacks to early points in her career. It's pretty interesting to hear that Durkin isn't going very high profile for his sophomore effort, especially after all the acclaim he received for his Sundance debut. Arianda is far from a big name (at least for now), but she did win a Tony for her stage turn in Venus in Fur, including praise from director Mike Nichols who compared her to a young Meryl Streep. The actress will also do all her own singing as Janis Joplin, known for having quite the gritty voice.

And despite being an indie film in development for over 12 years, it has a leg up on any competing projects that have been mentioned over the years as producer Peter Newman and his partners have locked down the exclusive rights to 21 of Joplin's most famous tunes, and that's more than enough for a soundtrack. Plus, it's said that Newman also has the rights to Love, Janis, a collection of letters from the singer that was published by her sister Laura Joplin, and the David Dalton book Piece Of My Heart. Joplin died young from a heroin overdose at 27-years old, so while it's unfortunately an all too short story.

Find more posts: Casting, Development, Movie News



He seems like the right guy for the job:

Derek D on Jul 10, 2012


Phoneme Director I'm In

Ehsan Davodi on Jul 10, 2012


WOW This is REALLY good news to me! 😀 Im a huuuge fan of Janis Joplin and have honestly been waiting for the longest time for someone to start this project! 😀 Personaly, I thought Maggie Gyllenhaal would have been better suited to play Joplin, but beggars cant be choosers I suppose 🙂

LosZombies on Jul 10, 2012


Looks like a good fit. I hope they can pull it off.

DAVIDPD on Jul 10, 2012


this is cool - but, where in the he11 is the rick james and motley crue biopics? they've been talked about for years.

beevis on Jul 10, 2012


I'd watch it, Joplin looked like a proper alcoholic mess by the time she died, she was literally disfigured with drink, quite tragic. Her music still sits high above a lot of what comes out today though.

Carpola on Jul 11, 2012

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