Martha Marcy May Marlene Director To Tackle Janis Joplin Biopic

A couple years ago there was a memorable seasonal arc on the NBC comedy 30 Rock where actress Jenna Maroney (played by Jane Krakowski) was cast in a biopic about legendary singer Janis Joplin. With each new episode the project kept hitting disaster after disaster, most notably failing to get life or music rights, resulting in the movie being about a singer named Jackie Jormp-Jomp with songs like "Chunk of My Lung" (instead of "Piece of My Heart"). It was funny as its own gag, but even funnier when you realize that it's partially based on truth. Studios have been trying to make a Janis Joplin biopic for years now but have never managed to be successful. And yet here we go again...

Deadline has learned that Martha Marcy May Marlene director Sean Durkin has been hired to helm Joplin with actress Nina Arianda as his star. The film will be a low-budget affair - made for under $20 million - and will be set in the last six months of the artists life and have flashbacks to earlier points in her life. Arianda is the latest in a long list of actresses who have been named as Joplin before, a list that includes Pink, Zooey Deschanel, Amy Adams and Renee Zellweger (albeit some of them were cast in rival projects to this one). She recently won Best Actress at the Tony Awards for her performance in the show Venus In Fur and has appeared in movies such as Win Win, Midnight in Paris, and Tower Heist.

Joplin reached her highest points of fame during the 1960s when she released classic songs such as "Me and Bobby McGee," "Try," "Move Over" and "Mercedes Benz." She became a member of the 27 Club in October 1970 when she was found in her hotel room dead from an overdose. Joplin producer Peter Newman, who has been trying to get the project off the ground for the last 12 years, says that the plan is to start production at the start of next year.

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

NJ native who calls LA home and lives in a Dreamatorium. A decade-plus CinemaBlend veteran who is endlessly enthusiastic about the career he’s dreamt of since seventh grade.