A few days ago, I had absolutely no interest in seeing a film about teenage vampires, but as soon as I heard that the film’s star, Kristen Stewart, had been cast as Joan Jett in the upcoming Runaways biopic, I knew I needed to see Twilight.
Stewart’s overall performance wasn’t terrible, but there was one scene at the end where she is stammering and I watched — I watched painfully. The Twilight producers wanted me to cry tears of sorrow here, but I nearly cried tears of laughter. And then I got a little scared — and not because of the creepy blood-sucking stuff. I asked myself: could I ever envision this girl playing the toughest chick in rock ‘n roll? (Let’s review Stewart’s recent appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman).
But then I realized, avid Runaways fans like myself are going to be Stewart’s toughest critics. Even if she’s handled by the most astute stylists — who will replicate Joan’s signature leather getup — and treated by skilled make up artists, who will bury her in eyeliner, we will probably never be satisfied. Even if Stewart becomes our Joan, we’re still going to critique her voice, her swagger and her guitar playing; we’ll probably even dissect her scowl.
In any case, Twilight is an enormous hit; it raked in nearly $70 million in its opening weekend, and as a result, Stewart has gained a huge teen fan base. Almost all of the Twilight fans I interviewed had no idea who Joan Jett was (and the few that did had never heard of The Runaways), yet nearly every single one of them told me they would see The Runaways just because of Stewart’s involvement in it. They are so Kristen-crazy that they’d also run to buy her album if she decided to release one. But this promising legion of Stewart fans may be completely shut out if The Runaways receives an R rating (and sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll have never really been PG).
The Runaways will be directed by famed music video director Floria Sigismondi and executive produced by Joan Jett and Kenny Laguna. Reportedly the filmmakers have secured the music rights. This makes me wonder: will Kristen and the other Runaways actresses lip synch or will they try their hardest to nail “Cherry Bomb”?
“I’d prefer lipsyching so the real Runaways music can be heard and enjoyed by the masses,” said one long-time Runaways fan. The majority of Runaways fans seem to be hoping for the Milli Vanilli route, whereas Kristen Stewart’s fans, unsurprisingly, want to hear her sing in the movie.
Hopefully The Runaways will turn out to be an exciting and accurate account of one of my all-time favorite bands. And since Joan is in the producer’s chair, I know I won’t be disappointed.
So who do you think should round out the rest of Runaways? Which actress do you think is worthy of squeezing into Cherie Currie’s corset?