Michelle Williams to play Janis Joplin in Love, Janis biopic
Michelle Williams to play Janis Joplin in Love, Janis biopic. Image credit: 106.5 WSFL.

A new actress joins the roster of potential Janis Joplin interpreters. The Golden Globe-winning actress, Michelle Williams, is reportedly in talks with producers of the upcoming Joplin biopic ‘Love, Janis’ to play the late Queen of Blues.

Several entertainment outlets first broke the news on Tuesday, noting that the 36-year-old actress was also reportedly interested in playing the part. ‘Love, Janis’ will be based on the memoir of the same title written by the singer’s younger sister Laura after her death.

Michelle Williams is the last in a long line of actresses set to portray the iconic musician. The Janis Joplin project ‘Love, Janis’ is not the only one currently in production either, with a rival biopic coming up as well titled ‘Get It While You Can’ starring Amy Adams.

October 4 marked 46 years of Janis Joplin’s death

Curiously enough, the news of Michelle Williams’ interest in playing Janis Joplin come at a date that nears the anniversary of the musician’s death. The unique singer died 46 years ago on October 4, 1970, of a heroin overdose in her Landmark Motor Hotel room in Hollywood, California.

Joplin became a music icon in the 60s after rising to prominence with the band Big Brother and The Holding Company as their vocalist. During a short period of only two years, the female artist was highly prolific.

She recorded two albums with Big Brother: a self-titled album, and the double platinum ‘Cheap Thrills,’ which contains the iconic anthem ‘Piece of My Heart.’

In 1968 she would go solo and have two accompanying acts to join her: the Kozmic Blues Band until 1970 and the Full Tilt Boogie for a couple of months before she died. Her song ‘Maybe’ was featured on her 1969 album with the Kozmic Blues Band, while ‘Me and Bobby McGee’ was released in the posthumous, 4-times platinum ‘Pearl’ in 1971.

‘Love, Janis’ will focus on the last six months of Joplin’s life

Janis Joplin’s meteoric rise to fame made her highly uneasy, so she recurred to heavy drugs and alcohol use to cope with the constant stress. Several people close to the singer have written books about her life, most notably her long-time friend Peggy Caserta and her sister Laura Joplin.

‘Love, Janis’ is the title of the biography authored by Joplin’s sister, which has inspired an off-Broadway musical, a compilation album, and now a biopic movie of the same name. The book is a collection of letters penned by Janis Joplin to friends and family that depicts her skyrocketing stardom in just a couple of years.

The film starring Michelle Williams will focus on the musician’s last six months, struggling with addiction and loneliness. If the musical serves as a base, the movie will most likely feature hits like ‘Summertime,’ ‘Ball and Chain,’ ‘Mercedes Benz,’ ‘Down on Me,’ and more.

Sean Durkin of the critically acclaimed 2011 drama ‘Martha Macy May Marlene’ is also attached to direct the project. The biopic is currently on hold as Michelle Williams prepares for her next role starring a musical with Hugh Jackman. No word on when the movie would start shooting if the rumors of Williams’ casting end up being true.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter