An Open Letter To The Film Industry About The “Just Kids” Biopioc

Dear Film Industry,

Hey there! What’s up? I heard a rumor that you are working on a biopic of Patti Smith’s memoir, Just Kids. Wow! I can’t say I’m surprised. It was a bestseller, winner of a National Book Award, and my favorite book of this year, aside from Freedom, which you will probably make into a movie too. But that’s not what I wanted to say. I wrote to beg of you, please don’t ruin this book by making a slick, star-studded movie. The thing that was so compelling about the story was Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe’s total dedication to the pursuit of art. They became famous and well-respected because they cared more about their art than how it was received. They refused to trade their vision for money, fame, or fortune.

I urge you to consider this when conceptualizing the film interpretation. No need to pick “names” to play the leading roles. Spare us your James Francos and Anne Hathaways for this one. Show us some unknown faces who embody the struggle of being a young artist clawing his or her way up. No need to get caught up in the hoopla of the ’70s music scene and the stars who make cameos in the book. Forget Janis Joplin and Jimmy Hendrix and focus on Patti and Robert. Give us something raw, well-acted, beautifully directed, visually pleasing, soulful and sensual, just like the book itself.

We know you need to make money and break even on your investment, but this story demands quality. Let the movie reflect the spirit of the book and I know it will be a success.

Thank you for your time and attention to this urgent matter.



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