Monday, August 22, 2011

Dakota to star as Effie?

17 year old Dakota Fanning has apparently been cast in the title role of Emma Thompson's period biopic Effie, replacing previously attached Saoirse Ronan, according to Deadline.

The film, set in 1850s London, tells the story of the doomed marriage between beautiful teenager Euphemia 'Effie' Gray and art critic John Ruskin and will be directed by An Englishman in New York's Richard Laxton.

Effie has been in the pipeline for five years, with Carey Mulligan also previously linked to the role, but production was delayed as Gregory Murphy took the producers to court claiming copyright infringement of his play The Countess.

Effie suffered a loveless marriage which was never consummated as for some reason Ruskin - to be played by Emma's husband Greg Wise - found her body disgusting. She eventually fell for his protege, painter John Everett Millais, to be played by 25 year old British actor Tom Sturridge.

Emma will also star in the film as Lady Eastlake, the woman who takes Effie under her wing, and Julie Walters and Derek Jacobi have been cast as Effie's difficult in-laws. Edward Fox is in talks to play Eastlake's husband, a patron of the Royal Academy and not a fan of Ruskin.

Filming on Effie is due to start in October in Scotland, London and Venice and producers hope it will premiere at the 2012 Venice Film Festival.

Dakota is already in the UK, having just finished shooting Now is Good the film adaptation of Jenny Downham's debut novel "Before I Die", as Tessa, a teenager with just a few months to live who has a wish list of things she wants to experience before she dies, alongside young British actors Jeremy Irvine and Kaya Scodelario.

Saoirse Ronan is now due to start filming on Byzantium in mid-October, also in the UK, alongside Gemma Arterton.

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