'Melancholia' star will direct adaptation of Sylvia Plath's novel.

21 Jul 2016 - 10:55 AM  UPDATED 21 Jul 2016 - 10:56 AM

LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - 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.

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.

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.

The Bell Jar was previously made into a feature film in 1979.

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. 

Fanning will be seen in Ewan McGregor's feature directing debut, American Pastoral

Lizzie Friedman, Karen Lauder and Greg Little will produce The Bell Jar alongside Fanning and Echo Lake Entertainment's Brittany Kahan. Celine Rattray is executive producing.

The news was first reported by Deadline Hollywood.

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France, Sweden, Germany, Denmark, 2011
Genre: Drama
Language: English
Director: Lars Von Trier
Starring: Kirsten Dunst, Alexander Skarsgård, Charlotte Gainsbourg
What's it about?
Justine (Kirsten Dunst) and Michael (Alexander Skarsgard) are celebrating their marriage at a sumptuous party in the home of her sister (Charlotte Gainsbourg) and brother-in-law (Kiefer Sutherland). Meanwhile, the planet, Melancholia, is hurtling towards Earth. Kirsten Dunst won Best Actress at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival for her performance. 

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Kirsten Dunst in Lars von Trier's Melancholia, showing Sunday 19th August on SBS