The long-awaited biopic of Janis Joplin continues to float somewhere in development purgatory (Get It While You Can, which was to star Amy Adams as the troubled rock legend, is currently embroiled in a lawsuit that halted production), but luckily, Joplin’s story will be told when the documentary Janis arrives in theaters.
And who will be telling that story? None other than Chan Marshall, the woman known to the music world as Cat Power. She’ll be narrating Joplin’s tale of fame, fortune, heartbreak, and tragedy in Janis, which will have its premiere out of competition at the Venice Film Festival in September.
The film is the work of director Amy Berg, who is no stranger to telling hard-hitting stories: she also lensed the docs West of Memphis (about the plight of the West Memphis Three), Deliver Us From Evil (an examination of a convicted pedophile priest), and the recently released An Open Secret (a harrowing dive into the sexual exploitation of children in Hollywood). Janis should carry the same power, as Joplin was a perpetual underdog who conquered the music world and then saw it slip away before she even knew what was happening. Marshall will give Joplin’s story life through letters written by Joplin herself that were provided to Berg by the Joplin estate.
Cat Power has been quiet on the music front as of late (her last album, Sun, arrived in 2012), though she recently gave birth to her first child back in April.