Kirsten Dunst is set to make her feature film directorial debut with an adaptation of Sylvia Plath’s “The Bell Jar.” Dakota Fanning will star in the independent drama with plans for a first-quarter start of production.
Fanning will play the lead role of Esther Greenwood in the pic, based on Plath’s 1963 novel. Dunst has adapted the script with Nellie Kim.
Priority Pictures optioned remake rights from Studio Canal. “The Bell Jar” was made into a feature film in 1979.
Priority’s Lizzie Friedman, Karen Lauder and Greg Little will produce alongside Fanning and Echo Lake Entertainment’s Brittany Kahan. Celine Rattray is executive producing.
In the book, Greenwood takes an internship at a magazine in New York City, and then begins to suffer a mental breakdown when she returns home to Boston.
The novel is the only book ever published by Plath, who committed suicide in 1963.
Dunst directed a pair of short films — “Welcome,” starring Winona Ryder and John Hawkes, which was screened at Sundance; and “Bastard,” starring Brian Geraghty and Lukas Haas which screened at Tribeca and Cannes. Dunst is repped by UTA and Management 360.
Fanning will be seen in Ewan McGregor’s “American Pastoral.” She’s repped by CAA and Echo Lake.
The news was first reported by Deadline Hollywood.