Jesse Plemons Joins Dakota Fanning in Kirsten Dunst’s ‘Bell Jar’

By Dave McNary | Variety

Jesse Plemons is joining Dakota Fanning in the movie adaptation of Sylvia Plath’s “The Bell Jar,” which will be Kirsten Dunst’s directorial debut.

Cornerstone Films has come on board to launch foreign sales next month at the American Film Market.

Fanning came on board the project in July to play the lead role of Esther Greenwood in the pic, based on Plath’s 1963 novel. Plemons will portray the Lenny Shepherd character.

Dunst has adapted the script with Nellie Kim.

Priority Pictures optioned remake rights from Studio Canal. “The Bell Jar” was made into a feature film in 1979.

Priority’s Lizzie Friedman, Karen Lauder, and Greg Little will produce alongside Fanning and Echo Lake Entertainment’s Brittany Kahan. Celine Rattray and Dunst are executive producing.

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.

Cornerstone’s Alison Thompson and Mark Gooder said “The themes explored in ‘The Bell Jar’ resonate as strongly in 2016 as they did in 1963 when the novel was first published.  Kirsten Dunst’s compelling vision for the film has a vibrant authenticity that modern audiences will embrace and we are proud to be part of the team bringing her directorial debut to the marketplace.”

Plemons’ credits include NBC’s “Friday Night Lights,” AMC’s “Breaking Bad,” and FX’s “Fargo.” Feature credits include “Black Mass” and “The Master.”