Janis Joplin Biopic Producers Sue Writer, Investment Firm

Long-in-the-works Amy Adams film on hold again as production companies claim a breach of their option agreement

'Get It While You Can,' the long-in-the-works Janis Joplin biopic starring Amy Adams, has hit yet another developmental snag. Credit: Evening Standard/Getty

The long-in-the-works Janis Joplin biopic starring Amy Adams, Get It While You Can, has hit yet another developmental snag: The film's producers, LKL Productions and the Switzerland-based Silver Reel, have sued writer-producer Ron Terry, his affiliated companies and the investment company Chesterton Capital, claiming the latter three have breached the terms of their option agreement, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

LKL and Silver Reel reportedly bought the rights for Get It While You Can for $117,000 in August 2014, but the plaintiffs claim that Terry and Co. have violated the terms of that agreement by shopping the script to other producers, talent, studios and financiers.

Furthermore, that option agreement was reportedly contingent on the restructuring of $1.7 million in loans Chesterton Capital made to Terry. LKL and Silver Reel say Chesterton is "holding the Screenplay and Picture hostage unless outrageous sums are paid," adding that they have refused to renegotiate the terms of the loan, which asked for 235 percent interest. 

According to the claim, Terry allegedly agreed to those terms because he was undergoing cancer treatment at the time and was "under physical and financial duress." But the plaintiffs added, "Regardless of the duress Terry was under, the terms of the foregoing loans are usurious, illegal, unconscionable and unenforceable."

The plaintiffs are claiming unfair competition, interference with contract and prospective economic advantage against Chesterton. They have asked a judge to both extend the option agreement — which expires at the end of March — until the lawsuit's resolution, and stop the defendants from shopping the screenplay to third parties.

Get It While You Can was scheduled to begin shooting in the second half of 2015 with Dallas Buyers Club director Jean-Marc Vallée reportedly attached to helm to the picture. Rolling Stone first reported Adams' role in the movie in 2010, when City of God director Fernando Meirelles was attached to direct. At another point, Lee Daniels was set to do so. Despite the protracted production, at least the situation hasn't devolved into a Jackie Jormp-Jomp catastrophe.