Twilight star Kristen Stewart has been tapped to play rock queen Joan Jett in The Runaways, a music biopic based Jett’s 1970′s all-girl band.
The film is scheduled to begin production in 2009, but will have to accommodate Stewart’s commitments to the two Twilight sequels, the first of which — New Moon — expected to start shooting in early 2009.
The story will follow Jett and singer Cherie Currie‘s rise to stardom as teenage rock stars in The Runaways and all the debauchery and disillusionment that came with it, which eventually led to their disbanding.
As previously reported, Jett will executive produce, while Floria Sigismondi , who wrote the script based on Currie’s memoirs, will direct. The initial report noted that the script was adapted from Currie’s unpublished memoirs, but the singer did pen an autobiography in the late 1980′s titled Neon Angel: The Cherie Currie Story, and this film was originally to be titled Neon Angels.
Also previously reported, the filmmakers have secured music rights, which either means they have to the rights to use the original music in the film or the rights to re-record the songs. I’m guessing it means that Stewart will most likely lip-sync Jett’s backing (and sometimes lead) vocals; it’s also probable that any live performances shown in the film will be dubbed with the band’s original audio recordings.
Since the 1980s, Jett has been trying to get a movie based on The Runaways made, so I’ve been anticipate such a flick ever since then. As time went on, it was getting harder to think about who would portray the leather-clad Jett and her bandmates — which also included guitar goddess Lita Ford. Now that the film is actually underway, I think Stewart is the perfect choice. She’s still a teenager, but she’s 18, so she’s of legal age to play Jett’s sex, drugs, and rock and roll exploits, which began at aged 15! Plus, she’s got the low voice and androgynous characteristic (I mean that in a good way) to play a teenage rebellious badass tomboy. I just can’t wait to see Stewart with guitar slung low and Jett’s old Suzi Quatro hairstyle!