Casting Call: Get It While You Can

Published December 5, 2014

In which we suggest who should star in the next big adaptation, remake, or historical film.

There’s a running joke on Tina Fey’s 30 Rock where Jenna Maroney, the melodramatic C-list actress, is cast as Janis Joplin. She’s elated to play a gritty lead role, but instead of getting her big break, Jenna’s TV-movie fails to get acquisition rights. The project becomes about Janet Jopler and then Jackie Jormp-Jormp.

Ms. Maroney may have not been able to accurately transmit the famed hippie musician onto the silver screen, but the Dallas Buyers Club team will soon have the opportunity. A Janis Joplin biopic has been in the development for years, and after many directors like Lee Daniels joining and then ditching the project, the film is finally gaining traction. Jean-Marc Vallée is in negotiations to direct while his fellow Buyers Club alum Craig Borten and Melissa Wallack are in talks to write the screenplay.

Joplin is one of the most iconic female rock musicians of her generation. She rose to fame in the late ’60s as the lead singer of the psychedelic band Big Brother and the Holding Company. Heavily influenced by blues music, she later had a four-year long solo career and released timeless songs like “Piece of My Heart” and “Me and Bobby McGee.” She’s known for her wild lifestyle, volatile sexual relationships and a crippling (and ultimately lethal) psychoactive drug and alcohol abuse problem. In 1970, she died at the age of 27.

Her tumultuous and sadly short life is ideal content for a riveting biopic. She was present for iconic moments of the ’70s rock-‘n’-roll scene—Woodstock being just one them—and the hippie culture in San Francisco. Currently titled Get It While You Can, after one of her songs, the film is due to shoot mid-2015. Amy Adams has been cast as the musician for years now, but we’ve contributed our own musings to who will play the supporting roles.

Casting Call runs every Friday. For more, click here.