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That Awesome Patti Smith/Robert Mapplethorpe Memoir Is Going To Be A Movie

Just Kids, Patti Smith’s memoir about her early years in New York City, is headed to the big screen. Well, that’s the plan, anyway.

Smith is working with John Logan, who wrote the screenplay for Martin Scorsese’s The Aviator and who won a Tony for Red (his play about the artist Mark Rothko),to adapt the book, which tells the story of Smith and her best friend, gay artist  Robert Mapplethorpe, as they ran wild through early 1970s New York, creating game-changing music and art.

Smith told the New York Times:

[S]he and Mr. Logan were friends and that she had particularly admired his script for “Coriolanus,” the coming film adaptation directed by a mutual friend of theirs, Ralph Fiennes. She also cited Mr. Logan’s Tony-winning play about Mark Rothko, “Red.” “It was a beautiful script and he’s very knowledgeable about art,” Ms. Smith said, speaking by phone, adding later, “He’s very knowledgeable about Robert and his work too.”

There’s no director, stars or funding yet, but this thing won The National Book Award for non-fiction. Clearly, that’s no guarantee, but somebody with love for this project and cash to burn is sure to step up.

While we’re waiting let’s play fantasy casting: Girl With The Dragon Tattoo star Rooney Mara as Smith and the not-exactly-known-yet Ezra Miller as Mapplethorpe.

Okay, your turn. And while you’re thinking, let this video of Smith’s unexpected and amazingly cool cover of “You Light Up My Life” inspire you.

On:           Aug 19, 2011
Tagged: , , , , ,
    • Mr. Enemabag Jones

      Oh thank God! More straight people making films about gay people and our history. I really hope there enough Oscars to go around.

      Aug 19, 2011 at 12:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • slanty

      I’ll pay for it.

      Aug 19, 2011 at 1:26 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • David Berner

      I just KNEW that would happen! It is such a tremendous story of companionship and love and art. I hope they treat the story with respect and honor, and don’t turn the screenplay into some sort of “action thriller!” :)

      David W. Berner
      Author, Accidental Lessons

      Aug 19, 2011 at 1:27 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dan Avery

      Enemabag: It’s SMITH’s story, and she’s straight. Not that the writer would have to be straight (or female) to do the work justice.

      Aug 19, 2011 at 1:53 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Neil

      How about Charlotte Gainsbourg for Patti Smith? I know she’s older, but, wow, Patti seems ancient AND youthful at the same time.

      They should cast an unknown for Mapplethorpe — a gay man already living an outsider’s life. They need someone who can embody his physicality, his place on the edge.

      And together they must explode. Fuckin fireworks.

      Aug 19, 2011 at 3:31 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • lizcivious

      I’ve been on a Patti Smith-Robert Mapplethorpe binge, having just read “Just Kids” and almost finished rereading Mapplethorpe’s biography (read it years ago and wanted to revisit). Such interesting people. I do hope, whoever makes the film, that they “don’t fuck it up,” to use RuPaul’s slogan. Like casting some glamor girl like Zoey Deschanel or the Twilight chick as Patti. As cool as a “Just Kids” film sounds, I’d really like to see one solely on Robert Mapplethorpe. Actually, that would have to be a mini-series since his life went through so many stages and parades of people. Only the Brits could pull off that, though.

      Aug 19, 2011 at 4:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
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      Aug 20, 2011 at 4:09 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • hephaestion

      James Franco MUST play Mapplethorpe. Ha ha ha.

      Actually I hope both roles are played by unknown actors.

      I loved the book “Just Kids.” It was my favorite book of last year.

      Aug 20, 2011 at 7:23 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jack E. Jett

      I have been a Patti Smith fan my entire life and I never knew this bit of video existed.


      It is an amazing version of this song.

      Aug 21, 2011 at 7:27 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • alan Balehead

      Wow great song!!

      Aug 21, 2011 at 8:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • xander

      @Hephaestion: Yes, Franco’s prob. itching to get that role, but let’s hope someone else gets it.
      @Jack E. Jett : Same thought here, about the music vid. Who would’ve thought she, of all people, would cover THAT song? Ouaou! “Youuuuu light up myyyy liiife!”
      Anyone who’s interested in a great read, pick up the book if you’ve missed it. Probably one of the best portraits of a friendship I’ve read in a long time.

      Aug 21, 2011 at 8:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • David

      I’m a big fan of both of them but that book was unreadable dross. I felt sorry for her editor. She writes like a child. Absolutely poor effort on Patti’s part.

      Aug 23, 2011 at 5:20 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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