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Janis Joplin Biopic Nabs a Star and Director Sean Durkin

Nina Arianda Janis Joplin
Joan Marcus, Getty Images Archives

It seems that a Janis Joplin biopic is always in the works, but this time it might happen — really! The feature has picked up Tony award-winning star Nina Arianda and ‘Martha Marcy May Marlene’ director Sean Durkin. Do we have your attention now?

Deadline reports that Nina Arianda, Tony award winner for best actress in a play for her work in ‘Venus in Fur,’ has signed on to play the legendary soul singer. Many actresses have almost played the singer over the years, in various iterations of her life story, including Amy Adams, Pink, Zooey Deschanel, and Lilli Taylor. It’s hard to imagine cutesy Deschanel or Adams inhabiting Joplin, who was known for her gravely, gut-wrenching vocals. Pink certainly has the vocal chops, but not the look, and Taylor certainly would have been a sensible choice.

Arianda seems to have what it takes, though, and has signed on for the film which chronicles the last six months of the singer’s tragically short life.

This will be director Sean Durkin’s second feature, following up the critical success of ‘Martha Marcy May Marlene.’ His editing and tonal choices in that film have us excited to see how he approaches this interesting biopic, and this seems to be another nail in the coffin of his supposed ‘Exorcist‘ reboot.

Deadline notes that producer Peter Newman has been trying to get this film made for 12 years, and has already secured the rights to 21 of Joplin’s songs, all of which Arianda will sing in the film.

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