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Kirsten Dunst Sets Directorial Debut With ‘The Bell Jar’ Starring Dakota Fanning

Written by on July 22, 2016 

Kirsten Dunst

Having worked with Sofia Coppola, Lars von Trier, Michel Gondry, Jeff Nichols, Sam Raimi, Joe Dante, Cameron Crowe, and a number of other accomplished directors, Kirsten Dunst is now set to step behind the camera for her directorial debut. She let it slip earlier this year while on the press tour for Midnight Special, but now it’s confirmed she has set her sights on an adaptation of Sylvia Plath‘s landmark 1963 novel The Bell Jar.

Deadline reports that Dakota Fanning will take the lead role of Esther Greenwood in the film, which follows her character, who suffers from a mental illness upon returning to her Boston home after interning at a magazine in New York City. It’s set to begin production early next year, and we’re looking forward to seeing Dunst taking on something quite ambitious and widely praised for her debut. As we await more details, check out the Amazon synopsis for the novel below, as well as Larry Peerce‘s 1979 version of the film (with a hat tip to The Playlist).

The Bell Jar chronicles the crack-up of Esther Greenwood: brilliant, beautiful, enormously talented, and successful, but slowly going under — maybe for the last time. Sylvia Plath masterfully draws the reader into Esther’s breakdown with such intensity that Esther’s insanity becomes completely real and even rational, as probable and accessible an experience as going to the movies. Such deep penetration into the dark and harrowing corners of the psyche is an extraordinary accomplishment and has made The Bell Jar a haunting American classic.


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