The Grammy, Tony, and Emmy winner and two-time Oscar nominee will take on the title role in the musical romantic drama, which follows a self-destructive female rock star who struggles to deal with the constant pressures of her career and the demands of those who surround her. But while the new production will pay homage to the classic film, Erivo’s take on the story is said to “put a contemporary lens on the high price of fame.”
Erivo will produce the project with Solome Williams under her newly launched production banner Edith’s Daughter. Williams serves as vice president of development at the label, which has a first-look deal with MRC Television and Civic Center Media.
Richard Ruiz, Searchlight’s director of development, and creative executive Cornelia Burleigh will oversee the project on behalf of the studio. The film’s writer and director are yet to be announced.
The original film — directed by Mark Rydell and starring Midler, Frederic Forrest and the late Alan Bates and Harry Dean Stanton — is loosely based on the life of Janis Joplin and considered by many to be the quintessential film about fame and addiction. The 20th Century Fox movie went on to earn four Oscar nominations, including a best supporting actor nod for Forrest and a best actress nod for Midler, the legendary entertainer’s first.
The new movie is not the only remake on Erivo’s upcoming slate — the actor recently wrapped production on Disney’s live-action adaptation of “Pinocchio,” where she plays the Blue Fairy. The performer most recently starred as Aretha Franklin in Nat Geo’s limited series “Genius: Aretha.” Later this year, Erivo will release her debut album “Ch. 1 Vs. 1” as well as her first children’s book, titled “Remember to Dream, Ebere.”
Erivo earned her first Oscar nomination for her portrayal of Harriet Tubman in 2019’s “Harriet,” while simultaneously earning a nod in the best original song category for the powerful ballad, “Stand Up” (shared with Joshua Brian Campbell). The celebrated stage actor’s Grammy, Emmy and Tony wins came as a result of her powerhouse performance in the leading role of Celie in the musical version of “The Color Purple.”
Erivo is repped by UTA, Authentic Talent and Literary Management, ID and Peikoff Mahan.