Michelle Williams in in early negotiations portray Janis Joplin in Sean Durkin’s long-in-the-works biopic centering on the 1960s rock icon.
The project, titled Janis, is based on Love, Janis, a book from her sister, Laura Joplin, which uses Joplin’s letters to family and friends to tell the story of a young woman rising from playing at coffeehouses to playing at Woodstock, dealing with sudden fame and celebrity while combating alcohol and heroin addiction all the while trying to keep her creativity.
Joplin died in 1970 at the age of 27 from a heroin overdose after releasing only three albums and enjoying such hits as “Piece of My Heart.” A fourth album was released just months after her death and featured one of her last hits, “Me and Bobby McGee.”
Hollywood has been trying to make a Joplin biopic for at least a couple of decades, and there are competing projects in development. Joplin has proved to be an enticing figure and actresses such as Renee Zellweger, Amy Adams, Zooey Deschanel and Broadway star Nina Arianda, among others, have riffed in and out of projects over the years.
Durkin, the filmmaker behind Martha Marcy May Marlene, are producing
Williams is warming up her pipes for The Greatest Showman, Fox’s musical centering on circus impresario P.R. Barnum that stars Hugh Jackman and will shoot this winter. She also stars with Casey Affleck in awards season contender Manchester by the Sea, the drama that Amazon and Open Road release in November.
Williams is repped by WME.
This article was originally published by The Hollywood Reporter.