The film will reportedly star Twilight actress Dakota Fanning, and will be co-written by both Dunst and her creative collaborator Nellie Kim. It will be produced by Priority Pictures.
Widely considered as one of the most important feminist texts in literature, Plath’s semi-autobiographical Bell Jar follows the emotional struggles of a young woman called Esther Greenwood. It tracks her journey to 1950’s New York City, where she takes on a magazine internship, before documenting her return to her suburban Massachusetts hometown. The novel sees Greenwood adjust to grown-up life and societal pressures, and offers an unflinching portrayal of serious mental illness.
Dunst has previously directed two short films. The first was 2007’s Welcome, which starred Winona Ryder, and the second was 2010’s Bastard, which was taken to both Tribeca and Cannes. The Bell Jar will be her first full-length feature.
Production on the movie is apparently set to start in “first-quarter 2017”, according to reports in Deadline. No other casting details have been announced.