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Janis Joplin Biopic Casts Lead Role, Announces Filming Schedule

Janis Joplin, Nina Arianda
Hulton Archive / Fernando Leon, Getty Images

It’s taken producer Peter Newman over a decade to bring the sad final months of Janis Joplin‘s life to the big screen, but now it seems he’ll get his chance. Deadline announced today that ‘Joplin,’ a film focused on the singer’s last six months, will begin filming early next year and star Tony Award winning actress Nina Arianda.

That’s not a name as bankable as some others thought to be attached to the role (Zooey Deschanel, Amy Adams, Renee Zellweger), but with a budget of just $20 million, Newman and his team were no doubt restricted. However, he says Arianda was an obvious choice.

“I’ve never in my life seen an actress walk on a stage and convey the duality of vulnerability with overheated sexuality, which is what Janis was all about,” he told Deadline.

Producers have the rights to 21 of Joplin’s songs, which Arianda — who won a Tony this year for her role in ‘Venus In Fur’ — will sing. This isn’t the 28-year-old’s first film experience, she had supporting roles in ‘Tower Heist’ starring Ben Stiller and ‘Midnight in Paris’ alongside Owen Wilson and Rachel McAdams.

Former Rolling Stone reporter David Dalton will help provide context for the movie. He travelled with the singer during her last six months, recording hundreds of hours of interviews. Joplin died of a heroin overdose on Oct. 4, 1970, at the age of 27.

Next: See Janis Joplin's Mug Shot

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