Kirsten Dunst to direct The Bell Jar

The Melancholia actor is to make her directorial debut with a version of Sylvia Plath’s 1963 novel.

Kirsten Dunst is to make her debut as a director with an adaptation of Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar.

Dakota Fanning has been announced in the lead role of Esther Greenwood, a young woman who takes an internship at a magazine in New York before suffering a breakdown and returning home to Boston.

Written just before Plath’s suicide aged 30, and first published under a pen name a month after her death, the book is often assumed to be semi-autographical.

It was first adapted for the big screen in 1979, starring Marilyn Hassett. In 2003,Gwyneth Paltrow played Plath in a biopic which covered the writing of The Bell Jar.

Dunst has co-written the film with Nellie Kim, while Fanning is a co-producer; shooting is scheduled to begin in early 2017.

Dunst has previously directed two short films, Welcome, which premiered at Sundance, and Bastard, which screened at Tribeca and Cannes. Most recently seen in Jeff Nichols’s Midnight Special, she is not expected to act in The Bell Jar.

 

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