Award-winning documentary filmmaking duo Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman (The Celluloid Closet) had previously recruited James Franco and Kate Hudson for their Linda Lovelace biopic, simply titled Lovelace. However, Hudson left the project earlier this year (due to becoming pregnant) and Franco likewise moved on to pursue other projects.
Now it appears that Amanda Seyfried (star of the currently-playing In Time) and Peter Sarsgaard (last seen in Green Lantern) are up to replace Hudson and Franco in Lovelace - by portraying infamous adult moviemaking duo Linda Lovelace and Chuck Traynor in the biographical drama.
Variety has confirmed that both Seyfried and Sarsgaard are officially in talks to join Lovelace, which Epstein and Friedman struggled heavily to secure funding for over the past year - no doubt in part due to the controversial and explicit nature of the film's subject matter. However, it looks like shooting on the project will commence in a matter of months... around the same time that another Lovelace biopic, titled Inferno: A Linda Lovelace Story, is expected to begin production.
Lovelace was scripted by Emmy-nominee W. Merritt Johnson (Temple Grandin) and Andy Bellin (Trust), based on journalist Eric Danville's 2001 book "The Complete Linda Lovelace". Inferno, by comparison, is being written and directed by indie filmmaker Matthew Wilder, working from Lovelace's 1980 autobiography "Ordeal". The latter project will also star Malin Akerman (Watchmen) and Matt Dillon (last onscreen in Takers) as Lovelace and Traynor, in turn.
Quick history: Lovelace was born Linda Susan Boreman in 1949. She was in her early twenties when she met and married Traynor, who led her to adapt the stage name Linda Lovelace for her "adult entertainment" acting career - which culminated in the high-grossing and trend-setting 1972 flick, Deep Throat.
A few years later, Lovelace divorced Traynor, on the grounds that he was physically abusive and forced her into a degrading lifestyle of drug use and prostitution. She thereafter became a dedicated and outspoken opponent of sexually-explicit film entertainment for the remainder of her life... though, there has always been some question as to whether or not she exaggerated her claims about Traynor's unscrupulous behavior.
Neither Seyfried nor Sarsgaard are seemingly hesitant about appearing in "edgy" indie fare (see: Chloe, The Center of the World, etc.) and both sound like good fits for their respective Lovelace characters. Plus, a biographical picture directed by Epstein and Friedman - with intriguing subject matter scripted by two noteworthy writers - reads as being all the better for the pair, who are both coming off appearances in lackluster mainstream sci-fi flicks.
On the topic of dual Linda Lovelace movies being made: it won't be the first time identical biopics are produced and (presumably) released in close proximity to one another (see: Capote and Infamous). We'll just have to wait and see if one ends up overshadowing the other - or if the two projects are able to peacefully coexist, so to speak.
Lovelace is slated to begin principal photography in January 2012, presumably with the intention of getting the film into theaters before year's end.