Just Kids, Patti Smith’s books about her time in New York City with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe, is one of the best memoirs I’ve ever read, and the winner of a National Book Award. Prior to reading it, I didn’t know who Mapplethorpe was, and I suspect the same is true for many in my generation. But he was an influential and controversial force in the artistic community before his death in 1989, and his work lives on—not least in the cover photo for Smith’s seminal album Horses.
The upcoming biopic Mapplethorpe, which is not an adaptation of Just Kids, will tell history on the big screen for the first time. Matt Smith, formerly Doctor Who, will star as Mapplethorpe, and Zosia Mamet will play Patti Smith. Ondi Timoner, who directed the excellent documentary DIG!, will direct, and production will begin this summer.
Patti Smith’s Just Kids, incidentally, is currently being adapted into a Showtime TV show.