In April 2012, it was reported that Taylor Swift was in talks to portray folk legend and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Joni Mitchell in the big-screen adaptation of Girls Like Us, a book that focuses on the impact of Mitchell, Carol King and Carly Simon. As recently as October 2012, Swift admitted that she was still eager to play Mitchell, but the role hadn’t been confirmed yet. Two years later, we finally know why the film wasn’t officially greenlit: Mitchell prevented the biopic from being made.
“I squelched that,” Mitchell told The Sunday Times of the nixed biopic (via NME). “I said to the producer, ‘All you’ve got is a girl with high cheekbones.’ It’s just a lot of gossip, you don’t have the great scenes.” Mitchell also said of the source material, written by Sheila Weller, “There’s a lot of nonsense about me in books. . .assumptions, assumptions, assumptions.”
“That’s actually not confirmed,” Swift said in October 2012 when asked if she would play Mitchell. “I wish I could say it’s confirmed! But the thing about movies that I’ve learned is – I’ve been reading scripts for five years, and you just don’t know what ones are going to get greenlit and which ones aren’t, so I can’t talk about it unless it’s the real thing.”
The Newsroom actress Alison Pill was also in talks to play Carole King in Girls Like Us before Mitchell had the film blocked. John Sayles was hired as screenwriter with Kate Jacobs directing the movie. Girls Like Us would have been the first dramatic turn for Swift, who made her big screen debut in the 2010 ensemble romantic comedy Valentine’s Day. The 1989 singer finally tackled drama when she appeared in the 2012 adaptation of the young adult classic The Giver.