Michelle Williams is in talks to team up with Martha Marcy May Marlene director Sean Durkin for an up-close biopic of the last six months of Janis Joplin’s life, according to Variety, which broke the story Wednesday.
Joplin’s short and turbulent life, which found her rocketing to pop stardom before dying in 1970 at 27 of a drug overdose, has proven both tantalizing and elusive to filmmakers. First Lili Taylor, then Pink, then Zooey Deschanel were attached to play Joplin in a film titled The Gospel According to Janis for director Penelope Spheeris (The Decline of Western Civilization). While that project was going through various iterations, a competing Joplin biopic called Piece of My Heart was also in development, with Courtney Love, Brittany Murphy, Melissa Etheridge, and Renee Zellweger in talks or attached.
Meanwhile, a completely different film, titled Get It While You Can, has passed from directors Fernando Meirelles (City of God) to Lee Daniels (Precious) to Jean-Marc Vallee (Dallas Buyers Club), with Amy Adams attached as Joplin; that production ran into legal trouble over rights last year. And Durkin’s project, currently titled simply Janis, has been in development since clear back in 2012, though initially with Nina Arianda in the lead.
So who knows, maybe this one will actually happen! But based on the difficulty thus far of bringing Joplin’s life to the screen, we might just have to resign ourselves to The Rose and Jackie Jormp-Jomp.