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Kirsten Dunst to make directorial debut with The Bell Jar

Melancholia

Story by Jack Foley

KIRSTEN Dunst is to make her feature film directorial debut with an adaptation of Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar.

Dakota Fanning will play 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.

Dunst has co-written the film with Nellie Kim, while Fanning will serve as a co-producer.

Filming 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.

She was most recently seen on the big screen in Jeff Nicholls’ critically-acclaimed Midnight Special and on the small screen, to Emmy nominated effect, in Fargo: Season 2.

The Bell Jar was written before Plath’s suicide, at the age of 30, and was first published under a pen name a month after her death. It is often assumed that the book is semi-autographical.

A previous big screen adaptation took place in 1979 which starred Marilyn Hassett.

And in 2003, Gwyneth Paltrow played Plath in a biopic that covered the writing of The Bell Jar.

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