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James Mangold to Direct Patty Hearst Drama, Elle Fanning in Talks (EXCLUSIVE)

James Mangold is following up “Logan” by tackling Patty Hearst, Variety has learned.

The director has come on board a still untitled adaptation of Jeffrey Toobin’s best-selling “American Heiress.” The film will not share the book’s title, but it will draw on Toobin’s reporting as it delves into Hearst’s kidnapping by the Symbionese Liberation Army and re-emergence as a member of the left-wing terrorist group. Elle Fanning is in talks to play Hearst, the Berkeley sophomore turned unlikely counter-culture revolutionary. Twentieth Century Fox is backing the project through its Fox 2000 label.

The screenplay was written by Larry Karaszewski & Scott Alexander and Mangold. Mangold will produce the film along with Nina Jacobsen and Brad Simpson of Colorforce.

Mangold has been attached to several other high profile projects, including an adaptation of Don Winslow’s popular novel “The Force,” as well as a big screen version of Katherine Applegate’s best-selling children’s book “Crenshaw.” However, the Patty Hearst film is expected to be his next project.

According to the Hearst logline, the film “traces the audacious, kaleidoscopic and psychologically twisted story of a true-life Alice in Wonderland.” It will follow Hearst’s capture and two-year detainment by the Symbionese Liberation Army in the mid 1970’s, as well as her transition from hostage to warrior. The kidnapped heiress captured the world’s attention when she was caught on tape participating in armed bank robberies. Her arrest and trial sparked a media frenzy.

Mangold’s been in demand since “Logan” became a commercial hit, grossing $616.8 million globally. It was also hailed by critics for its blood-drenched, character driven re-imagining of the superhero genre. Fox is aggressively pushing the film for awards consideration. Mangold’s other credits include “Walk the Line,” “Girl Interrupted,” and “The Wolverine.”

Fanning is one of the movie business’s top rising stars, having appeared in “20th Century Women,” “The Beguiled,” and “The Neon Demon.” Her upcoming credits include “Mary Shelley” and “I Think We’re Alone Now.”

Mangold is represented by WME and Management 360. Fanning is represented by WME and Echo Lake Entertainment.

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