Tony Award-winning actress Nina Arianda is set to play the ill-fated 1960s icon Janis Joplin in a new film, according to Deadline.com.
"Joplin," which has been in the works for more than a decade while stars from Zooey Deschanel to P!nk were considered for the lead role, will focus on the last six months of the singer's life before she died of a heroin overdose in 1970 at the age of 27. The director will be Sean Durkin, who scored an indie hit last year with his debut, "Martha Marcy May Marlene."
Arianda isn't well-known to movie fans, despite small roles in Woody Allen's hit "Midnight in Paris" and the recent Ben Stiller comedy "Tower Heist." In the stage world, however, she's a rising star, having won the Tony for best actress in "Venus in Fur," co-starring Hugh Dancy, last month. Peter Newman, the producer of "Joplin," is said to be hoping the film will turn Arianda into a discovery, much as Durkin's film did for its then-unknown star, Elizabeth Olsen.
"I've never in my life seen an actress walk on a stage and convey the duality of vulnerability with overheated sexuality, which is what Janis was all about," Newman told Deadline.
Newman's film, which is reportedly budgeted at a relatively low $20 million and will include 21 of the singer's best-known songs, isn't the first attempt to make a feature about Joplin's boozy, troubled life. There have been rumors and reports of stalled productions with Amy Adams, Renée Zellweger and the late Brittany Murphy.