According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Kristen Stewart-Dakota Fanning indie, The Runaways, has been picked up for distribution by Apparition. The company, which is headed by Bob Berney and Bill Pohlad, secured distribution rights for the film a month prior to its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival with a planned release date of March 19th, 2010. Bill Pohlad also served as a producer on the film through the production company River Road Entertainment.

If you’re a fan of 70’s rock, the name The Runaways should sound familiar to you. Before she struck out on her own, The Runaways was Joan Jett’s first successful band. Featuring an all-female lineup, The Runaways was one of the most famous acts in the 1970’s punk rock scene. While they had a number of hits, I’d say their most famous song before disbanding in 1979 was probably the rock classic, Cherry Bomb.

The Runaways, which is directed by music video director Floria Sigismondi, focuses on the relationship between Joan Jett (played by Kristen Stewart) and the band’s lead singer Cherie Curie (played by Dakota Fanning). Twilight fans will note that this isn’t the first time that Stewart and Fanning have appeared in a film together. Hmm… I wonder if that had anything to do with the decision to pick up the film? Can anyone say built-in audience?

In an interview at THR’s Risky Business Blog, Bob Berney acknowledged the role that Twilight will play in promoting the film.

The cast opens up some extra possibility overseas given the “Twilight” angle. To what extent did that factor into your decision?

“It’s huge. Obviously, there’s a huge base of fans for [Stewart] from the “Twilight” movies, and although this is a different film and it’s R-rated and edgier, it gives you a great fanbase to start with. You just gotta be careful how you market it. I think her fans are interested in her doing something very different, and stretching, and that’s probably why she wanted to make the film. So it’s great as long as we try to be really truthful about what the film is and what it’s going to be about. I think her fans will really like it.”

Of course, if the film does go mainstream, tweens and teens shouldn’t expect to wander into The Runaways as easily as they do to Twilight. As Berney says, the film is R-rated. Given the subject matter and setting of the film (1970’s rock bands weren’t known for being squeaky clean), I’m imagining there will be a fair amount of material that most parents won’t want their kids seeing. Nevertheless, for Stewart fans, it will be interesting to see how the actress does in a small indie after having dealt with the global phenomenon that is Twilight.

By the way, if you’re wondering what Stewart and Fanning look like in their respective roles, we have a first look at the pair courtesy of our friends over at /Film. Check it out below.

What do you think of The Runaways? Does this sound like something you’d be interested in seeing?

Source: THR, Risky Business Blog, /Film