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Fresh from the success of “Twilight,” Kristen Stewart is set to portray Joan Jett in “The Runaways,” the rock ‘n’ roll biopic of the 1970s all-girl band.
Video director Floria Sigismondi wrote the screenplay and is directing, while John and Art Linson and River Road Entertainment’s Bill Pohlad are producing. Jett will act as an executive producer.
The Runaways were hugely influential as the first successful all-girl hard rock band; its members included guitarists Jett and Lita Ford, drummer Sandy West, singer-keyboardist Cherie Currie and bassist Jackie Fox. The band was brought together in late 1975 by impresario Kim Fowley, who thought a novelty act of teenaged girls performing in leather and lace would be an easy sell, but the girls ended up proving to be serious and influential musicians with songs like “Cherry Bomb.” The band lasted about four years together, falling apart over management and money issues.
Jett continued her rock career into the ’80s, forming the Blackhearts and scoring with such hits as “I Love Rock N’ Roll” and “I Hate Myself for Loving You.” She continues to record and tour.
The film will revolve around Jett and Currie and follow them from the band’s meteoric rise as teenagers to their dissolution and disillusionment.
The movie is eyeing a 2009 start and will work around Stewart’s commitments to the two “Twilight” sequels. The first one, “New Moon,” is expected to shoot sometime in first-quarter 2009, with Stewart reprising her role as Bella, the human who falls for a vampire.
“Twilight” has made more than $120 million since opening Nov. 21.
“Runaways” reunites the Gersh-repped Stewart with Art Linson and Pohlad, with whom she worked on “Into the Wild.” She also appeared in the Linson-produced “What Just Happened.”
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