Dark Pictures, an all-female production company that focuses on true stories, is developing a new biopic called Paper Heart. The film will focus on Stone Temple Pilots and Velvet Revolver frontman Scott Weiland, who tragically died in 2015 at the age of 48.

The Hollywood Reporter announced that Dark Pictures and Orian Williams have acquired the book rights to Not Dead & Not For Sale, Weiland’s memoir that was written by David Ritz and published in 2011.

Dark Pictures co-founder Jennifer Erwin is a self-professed die-hard Stone Temple Pilots fan and will be a writer on the film alongside fellow co-founder Anne Beagan. Paper Heart will explore Weiland’s life and is set to “meld rock stardom with a moving love story, the rock band frontman plunged into addiction and then fighting his way back to the top with comebacks.”

Erwin said in a statement:

“It’s an honor to have the trust to tell Scott’s story and the ability to portray the lesser known sides of him — the loving and tender man he was, the high school athlete he was, the melancholy soul he was and the legendary frontman that he will always be.”

Beagan continued in her own statement, “Scott was glamorous, complicated, and wounded. His childhood had a big effect on his struggles with addiction.” Producer Orian Williams added, “we want to make the most authentic film possible about this remarkable artist. Beyond Scott’s page-turning memoir, connecting with those closest to Scott is important to get the details right. We’re also thrilled to have access to his unreleased music for the film.”

David Vigliano, CEO and Founder of Vigliano Associates and representative of the Weiland estate, said in a statement that “we’ve been approached many times about Scott’s story and when this team came to us with their vision for a film, it felt right.”

Weiland formed the band Stone Temple Pilots with brothers Robert and Dean DeLeo and Eric Kretz. The band saw huge success in the ’90s with hits like “Big Empty”, “Vaseline” and “Interstate Love Song”. In 1993, STP’s debut album Core peaked at number 3 on the Billboard 200. Weiland later joined Velvet Revolver with former Guns N’ Roses members Slash, Duff McKagan, and Matt Sorum in 2002.

Breaking the Norm for Music Biopics

While there have been great musician biopics, they typically have a standard formula meant to win over audiences. The artist’s ups and downs are emphasized before it usually culminates in a big finale show at the end. However, there have been refreshing alternative takes on this approach with films like Ethan Hawk’s Blaze, which explore the nitty-gritty and eccentric aspects of Blaze Foley. I hope that with two females behind the script that Paper Heart will also have the kind of authentic core and dynamic feeling. Blaze Foley’s first love, Sybil Rosen, penned the script along with Hawke and it was largely based on her own memoir, Living in the Woods in a Tree: Remembering Blaze. However, to have a die-hard fan help pen the script for Paper Heart is a bold and exciting choice.

The film’s title could be a reference to the song “Trippin’ on a Hole in a Paper Heart,” STP’s fifth single to hit the top position on the Billboard charts. Weiland wrote the lyrics and later expressed in his autobiography that it “reflects my hunger to redemption”. With all that in mind, it seems like the team behind this film is approaching it with the utmost respect, authenticity, and love for one of the best singer/songwriters of a generation.

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