Pink: Roberto Pfeil/AP
Gary Susman
April 02, 2004 AT 05:00 AM EST

Move over, Renée Zellweger. In the long-running battle to bring a biopic of Janis Joplin to the screen, Zellweger faces new competition from an actual rock singer: Pink. Variety reports that the artist formerly known as Alecia Moore has been cast as the 1960s blues-rock belter in director Penelope Spheeris’ long-gestating biopic ”The Gospel According to Janis.” Plus, she may get the party started before Zellweger does; Spheeris says she’ll shoot her independently financed film this summer, while Zellweger’s Paramount-backed ”Piece of My Heart” doesn’t yet have a director or a start date.

Spheeris, best known for such acclaimed rock documentaries as her ”Decline of Western Civilization” movies, said in a statement: ”After trying to make a picture on Janis’ life for 15 years, I’d call Alecia’s screen test the most gratifying moment in my film career.” She added of Pink: ”She is the perfect age to play Janis from when she first came to California at 19 to when she died at 27.” Zellweger will turn 35 this month; on the other hand, she, like Joplin, is from Texas. (Pink is from Pennsylvania). And the ”Cold Mountain” star also has an Oscar to her credit, while Pink’s previous film experience is limited to a cameo in ”Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle.” Let the Joplin-off begin.

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