Actress Nina Arianda poses backstage with her award for Best Performance By An Actress in a Leading Role in a Play for her performance in 'Venus in Fur' during the American Theatre Wing's 66th annual Tony Awards in New York June 10, 2012. — Reuters Photo

LOS ANGELES: The makers of a planned film about rock icon Janis Joplin have tapped recent Tony Award winner Nina Arianda to play the part of the 1960s singer in a biographical movie directed by Sean Durkin, a spokesman for the director said on Tuesday.

The independently-produced film, titled “Joplin,” looks at the last six months in the life of the raspy-voiced singer who died in 1970 of a drug overdose following chart success with classic rock hits such as “Down on Me” and “Piece of My Heart.”

Producer Peter Newman told show business news website Deadline that “Joplin” would have a production budget under $20 million and it would be in production early next year.

Arianda won raves in “Venus in Fur,” a sex comedy in which she portrays a struggling actress named Vanda who staggers into an audition late then proceeds to put on the performance of her life. The role won her Broadway's Tony for best actress, and she recently appeared in Woody Allen movie, “Midnight in Paris.”

Durkin is best known for making 2011 independent film “Martha Marcy May Marlene,” which led to the director's award at last year's Sundance Film Festival.

Joplin, who died at age 27, had a short career but lived a full life and was iconic for the Woodstock generation.

She gained rock stardom as the lead singer of the psychedelic-acid rock band Big Brother and the Holding Company, then cemented her fame with backing groups, The Kozmic Blues Band and The Full Tilt Boogie Band.


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