Music biopics have long been a part of Hollywood’s history, and the genre looks like it will continue to thrive in the modern age. This past summer, the James Brown film Get on Up (starring Marvel’s Black Panther Chadwick Boseman) received widespread critical acclaim and legendary director Martin Scorsese became attached to a movie detailing the lives of the punk band the Ramones. With offerings like Ray and Walk the Line becoming awards contenders, it’s no surprise that filmmakers want to go back to this well.
One such project that has the potential to join the ranks of the best is the Janis Joplin biopic Get It While You Can, which for years has had Oscar-nominee Amy Adams attached to the lead role. After a long development stage, it seems as if the film is picking up some steam, now that it officially has a director on board.
Deadline is reporting that Jean-Marc Vallée, who helmed the Academy Award-winning Dallas Buyers Club last year, has signed on to call the shots on the film and is planning on a mid-2015 shoot. Their sources also say that Buyers Club writers Craig Borten and Melissa Wallack are negotiating a deal to rewrite the screenplay that was originally penned by Ron and Theresa Terry.
Currently, Get It While You Can is without distribution, but that should change soon now that such high-profile players are involved.
Vallée burst onto the scene during last year’s awards race with his HIV/AIDS drama Dallas Buyers Club, which was nominated for Best Picture and earned stars Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto numerous trophies. His next directorial effort, this year’s Wild, isn’t generating the same kind of attention on the Oscar circuit, but it’s still receiving a warm reception by critics who are praising the talents of both the director and actress Reese Witherspoon. That’s a long way of saying that this development is a welcome one, as Vallée has carved out a nice career for himself to date.
In these early stages, it would seem as if Get It While You Can will add to the filmmaker’s impressive résumé. Joplin is one of the most beloved and respected music artists, leaving behind a remarkable legacy in her short life. In 1995, Joplin was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and she was ranked 46th on Rolling Stone‘s list of the 100 Greatest Singers of All-Time. With Adams employing her dynamic skill set to bringing Joplin’s electric stage presence to life (even singing the songs herself) and handling character-drama material, this could be the role that lands her a long-awaited Oscar.
There’s no indication as to when the Joplin biopic will hit theaters. Adams still has to film Prisoners director Denis Villeneuve’s sci-fi film Story of Your Life before jumping to Get It While You Can. And since Vallée isn’t planning on rolling cameras until the middle of next year, 2016 looks like a reasonable possibility for when we’ll see the final product. Whichever studio ends up acquiring the rights will want to have it ready for an awards push (given the people involved), but they may have to wait a while before that campaign.
We’ll keep you updated on Get It While You Can as more information becomes available.
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