Janis Joplin Biopic Development in Jeopardy

Courtesy of Getty Images
Courtesy of Getty Images

The Janis Joplin biopic has been in the works for years, but a recent lawsuit is trying to temporarily stop the film’s development. LKL Productions and Silver Reel are suing writer-producer Ron Terry, his affiliated companies Morace and Get It While You Can, and a lending firm that invested in the biopic. LKL Productions and Silver Reel’s lawsuit claims they paid over $100,000 dollars for the exclusive rights for the script Get It While You Can, which was written by Ron Terry. 

In order to solidify the agreement, the loans (worth $1.7 million) that Terry received from Chesterton Capital were supposed to be restructured. When LKL and Silver Reel tried to restructure the loans, they found the terms were unreasonable and “illegal.” The lawsuit claims Anne Brensley and John Walsh, who both work for Chesterton Capital, want 235 percent interest on the Terry’s loans. Silver Reel’s attempt to negotiate with Brensley and Walsh have failed. “Chesterton and Walsh are holding the screenplay and picture hostage from plaintiffs unless outrageous sums are paid,” the lawsuit claims (via The Hollywood Reporter). 

Although the loans are still unpaid, Terry, his affiliates, and the Chesterton Capital, are still shopping the screenplay to producers. Silver Reel and LKL Productions have already chosen Jean-Marc Vallee (Dallas Buyers Club and Wild) as the biopic’s director. Silver Reel’s lawsuit claims Terry has also violated the terms of their agreement by shopping his script to other studios and financiers. The deal that was signed between Silver Reel-LKL Productions and Terry will expire at the end of March, and so Silver Reel-LKL Productions are contingent on resolving this matter before the deal expires. 

In the meantime, they are also hoping a judge will grant them the option to extend the agreement, until a resolution is met. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Silver Reel and LKL Productions also want to be granted an injunction that will prevent Terry from shopping the screenplay to other producers and studios. The Janis Joplin biopic is set to star Amy Adams (American Hustle and Enchanted). The previous biopic was set to star Renee Zellweger, and the film would have been directed by Lee Daniels (Empire and The Butler). 

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