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runaways

So, Hollywood is finally making a movie about The Runaways. Shit yes, right? Well, no, actually, because cast as Joan Jett is Kristen Stewart, who played Bella in some tiny production-or-other, Twilight. To make matters worse, Cherie Currie will be played by...wait for it...Dakota Fanning. Um. Okay. This week, it was announced that Alessandra Torresani (who?) has signed on as Lita Ford. And all I can think is, these must be some lost little girls (pun intended) because Torresani had to literally research the band to become familiar with them. Am I just being cynical, expecting that this project will not do The Runaways their deserved justice? Or can today's hottest teen stars actually pull it off?

Honestly, I'm skeptical. For one thing, Stewart is not exactly deep, per se, as an actress. In fact, in our latest Bitch Popaganda episode we chat about said actress and even refer to her acting chops as "wooden". My pick to play Joan Jett: Lizzy Caplan of Mean Girls and "True Blood" fame. That lady is funny, believable as a hardass and she looks good in black hair and smeared eyeliner.

And while Fanning is an honored and talented actress, can she really take on Cherie Currie? This is a woman who fronted a punk band at age 16 and was known for wearing lingerie on stage. Fanning is great in heartwarming and dramatic roles, but I'm skeptical of her ability to truly slay as punk's reigning queen. Did they tell her this role will involve at least one garter belt? I'd have more faith in someone like Hayden Panettiere or Scarlett Johansson.

The Runaways were the most influential all-female punk band ever. Somehow, this casting doesn't seem to add up. Also confusing is that Joan Jett herself is an Executive Producer, perhaps just there to ensure the integrity of the film and to make sure the true story translates correctly. If that is the case, though, one would hope she would squelch any bad casting moves. I still don't have much faith in this project. What do you think? Who would you rather see play The Runaways? Is it too early to tell, or will this (sorry, it was too easy) cherry bomb?

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Comments

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Agreed.

The cast puzzles me as well. I mean, I dig Kristen Stewart's new haircut. When I saw it (before I knew who I was looking at) I thought to myself, "now who is this hottie?" As I then, read on in the article I began to mentally contrast Kristen Stewart and Joan Jett. Talk about some huge shoes to fill! Personally, I don't think she has the 'attitude' needed to do Joan justice - but I do like to give people the benefit of the doubt, so best of luck to Kristen.

And she can't be too too bad seeing as how Joan is the Executive Producer. :)

Check out my jock page @ www.planetradio1073.com to take the poll:
'Kristen Stewart as Joan Jett: Does it work?'

somewhat more optimistic

Has anyone seen Kristen Stewart in anything but Twilight? I'm just wondering how much of her "woodenness" is due to the style of that film? I don't know, when I see her glaring out from the poster, I could see her as a punk. (But I've never seen Twilight, so I'm not the best judge). ANd I have a lot of faith in Dakota Fanning; I think she's a good enough actress that she might be able to do this. (I definitely don't think Hayden Panettiere or Scarlett Johansson would do a better job! Hayden is not a good actress, and Scarlett just doesn't seem punk to me.) At least Megan Fox isn't in this!

I don't have a problem with this being filled with "today's hottest teens," if the script is good. If it introduces young women to the Runaways, that's a good thing!

I've seen "Speak", "The

I've seen "Speak", "The Safety of Objects," and "Into the Wild" and think she's a great actress. I think she gets such a bad reputation because the role of Bella (her character in the "Twilight" films) is arguably very one sided (wooden, I suppose). I only began reading the series in reaction to hearing Stewart was signed up to star in the movie adaptation. Stewart does play guitar and sing, which I think is partially why she was considered for the role. She's also been quoted as saying this is the most excited she's been about a project (which I think is definitely something which makes her a great choice). If you want to see something she's been in I'd watch the three movies I mentioned earlier ("The Safety of Objects" and "Speak" are particularly heartbreaking).

Adventureland

I thought there was a lot of poor acting, lip-biting, and woodenness in Adventureland

Brittner, I love your blog,

Brittner, I love your blog, but Kristen Stewart has done a lot more than features in the "Twilight" franchise. I think she did amazing in "Speak" (2004), based off the YA novel of the same name- playing a rape victim so young was definitely a daunting role. Her role in "Into the Wild" (2007) was small, but most critics agree that her portrayal was genuine. Stewart has said on more than one occasion that she is a fan of Jett and has even met her to discuss the project (of which Jett is an executive producer). Jett has even gone on the record with Contact Music as saying, “When her hair is cut and with the right make-up, Kristen should make a really good me.” and goes further to say, “She sounded great and played well. She has the passion for it, which you can’t really be taught.” Overall, I think to base Stewart's portrayal of Jett in comparison to her role in the "Twilight" films is an incredible disservice to the actress. The suggestions made for other actresses are all great too (with the exception of Hayden P. who only has "Heroes" still as comparison), but honestly, can you see Scarlett Johansson or Lizzy Caplan (both of whom I love) as believable teenagers?

Wow!

This is what I love about these blogs, our amazing readers getting into the conversation and bringing this kind of stuff to our attention. Thank you! I hadn't seen anything from Joan Jett actually commenting on the movie, so that's great! Thanks for that.

I think Scarlett and Lizzy could be believable as teenagers, yes. And honestly, I do respect the fact that they're casting actual teenagers in the film as opposed to casting women in their late 20s-30s. I think that's dangerous because when girls start thinking that those women reflect what teenagers look like, it sometimes leads to body image issues.

Maybe I AM being too cynical. But we'll wait and see!

Thanks again, B!

Wow. I thought Bitch was a

Wow. I thought Bitch was a feminist magazine(?) This post makes you look like the petty, henpecking counterparts to Perez Hilton.

Yes, it is

It's called Bitch, Feminist Response to Pop Culture. The Runaways were a part of pop culture in the '70s (more underground than mainstream, but they were indeed well-known then). Joan Jett as a solo act was part of early- '80s mainstream pop culture. Perez Hilton is part of today's pop culture. Relevent? Indeed.

The Runaways as a gritty story

I don't know if I care about the casting as long as the story and acting are done right. Its difficult for a lot of people to imagine running away from home, living on the street and surviving on your young, limited musical talents. From a social consciousness perspective, the Runaways represent the success that can happen with absolutely no help in a male dominated industry. However, this story wasn't glamorous nor should it be anything that one would want their own loved ones going through. If this story is to be done right, the grit can't be held back.

On a side note, while I think the story surrounding the band is intriguing, I personally never thought their music was as strong as some of the other punk bands of the era.

I trust Dakota Fanning!

The girl's got range. And Cherie Currie was really young, so it works. As for Stewart — I haven't seen Twlight (or, as my friend Jeff calls it, Are You There, God? It's Me, Nosferatu), but wasn't she Jodie Foster's daughter in Panic Room?

I was hoping that Kat Denning (Dennings? The one from Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist) would be cast as JJ, but I'm going to see the movie regardless, so I'm happy to wait on playing armchair casting director any further. Although I am curious about who's going to play Kim Fowley.... Russell Brand?

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Mold Breakers

Kristen Stewart seems like one of those actresses who can pretty much fit in anywhere. I don't know if she has enough charisma to lead an entire picture without a romantic interest, but we'll see. Perhaps she's trying to break out of that mold? Dakota Fanning might be trying to do the same thing. After all, the public reception to her role in Hounddog didn't exactly do her any favors. At least the film is being directed by a woman, someone who has created a lot of awesome David Bowie music videos. The cinematographer, Benoît Debie, is also really great. He's worked with French filmmaker Gaspar Noe (who directed Irreversible) a bunch of times and I can easily see his saturated, robust style translating well to a '70s era cinematic experience.

Here's a picture from Irreversible: http://hodgeblodge.files.wordpress.com/2009/01/irreversible-photo_04_hir...

I am more than willing to

I am more than willing to give this a chance. What I am wondering more about is what kind of reception is expected for the movie? Are they hoping box office success or indie cult film success?
Who CARES whether we've heard of one of the actresses or not. Being a household name does not = great actor or actress.
A lot of people don't know who the Runaways are. An actress having to research them is not a bad thing.

two words...

ELLEN PAGE as JJ!

I am pretty disgusted by the

I am pretty disgusted by the way some of you pass judgment on someone based on a single feature film. Kristen Stewart sucked in Twilight, true, but have you read the books? It's really hard to turn shit into gold, people! She even admits to hate that roll.

Also, dont diss the Fanning, she has way more substance than Hayden Panattiere and ScarJo would be a TERRIBLE choice for this. She looks too old. Teenage girls have enough image issues as it is. I could argue that Taylor Momsen probably could have been a better look and a stroger personality, but give Fanning the benefit of the doubt.

Seriously, this has been the cattiest, pettiest blog post in Bitch in a lonnnng ass time.

I remember when I read about

I remember when I read about this movie getting made last year - Floria Sigismondi was still writing the screenplay - and getting excited about it. Now I'm just disillusioned. Indie rock singer Ivy Levan was my best pick to play Lita or Cherie, as for Joan well Natasha Khan has more depth than Kirsten.

Joan Jett and Cherie Currie

Joan Jett and Cherie Currie are saying that Kristen and Dakota "nailed"
their respective roles, so I think that is pretty much THE authoritative answer.

Now That We've Actually Seen The Film....

What do people think now that they've seen the film? Was there a follow-up to this article? I certainly hope your insulting words tasted as nasty as they sound because Kristen Stewart took on the full responsibility of this role. She learned to play the songs, she and Dakota Fanning sung them for the film, and they learned to perform on stage with the true mannerisms and energy of Joan Jett and Cherie Currie. Believe me when I say I am a harsh, harsh critic especially when it comes to film, but I am intransigent about the portrayal of lesbianism. Now I don't know if it was Joan Jett's presence every day on set, but I am dying to know, as a director, how those empty eyes I saw on Kristen Stewart in Twilight could also burn with such intensity and sexuality... toward women!