Vallee's producing partner Nathan Ross told Variety that the movie will shoot during the summer and autumn in Los Angeles and San Francisco, where Joplin began recording songs in 1964. She broke out in 1967 as the lead singer of Big Brother and the Holding Company.
Adams has been attached to play the late rock singer for several years. Lee Daniels emerged last year as a candidate to direct.
Ron Terry is producing with Ross, who has executive producer credits on "Dallas Buyers Club," "Wild" and Vallee's upcoming "Demolition."
"Dallas Buyers Club" screenwriters Craig Borten and Melisa Wallack have been hired to write the script. Ron Terry and Theresa Kounin-Terry wrote an earlier draft.
Journal Du Quebec was the first to report on Vallee's attachment.
Joplin died of a drug overdose in 1970 at the age of 27. She first gained fame at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967 and the 1968 Big Brother album "Cheap Thrills."
Adams next be seen in "Big Eyes" opposite Christoph Waltz and is currently reprising her role as Lois Lane in "Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice."
Vallee's "Wild," starring Reese Witherspoon, opens on December 3. He recently wrapped the romantic drama "Demolition," with Jake Gyllenhaal, Naomi Watts and Chris Cooper.
Vallee's attorney is David Weber of Sloane, Offer, Weber and Dern. Adams is repped by WME and Brillstein Entertainment.