From pop star Pink to indie dream girl Zooey Deschanel, big name actresses have been attached to the lead role in Janis Joplin‘s biopic. But it will be recent Tony Award-winning actress Nina Arianda that will play the title role in Joplin.

Arianda, who won Best Actress at the 2012 Tony Awards for her role in Broadway’s Venus In Furs, impressed producer Peter Newman with her acting chops and powerful voice.

“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 entertainment biz industry blog Deadline. Arianda has made appearances on the big screen before with parts in Win Win, Tower Heist and Midnight in Paris, but Joplin will be her first leading role.

Directing Joplin will beup-and-coming director Sean Durkin, who’s still riding the buzz from his acclaimed feature debut, last year’s Martha Marcy May Marlene.

Joplin will focus on the final six months of the Texas-born singer’s life and includes flashbacks to earlier portions of her career. Putting the wheels in motion is a hurdle that took twelve years for Newman to finally overcome, gaining rights to Joplin’s music being the most difficult. Newman now has rights to 21 of her best-known songs, as well as a collection of letters from the singer (Love, Janis) published by her sister and David Dalton’s book, Piece Of My Heart.

Production on Joplin will begin early next year.

– E.J. Judge, WCBSFM New York


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