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Kirsten Dunst casts Dakota Fanning in big directorial debut

Kirsten Dunst is stepping behind the camera to direct Dakota Fanning in a new movie adaptation of The Bell Jar.

The Spider-Man actress will make her feature film directorial debut with the remake, based on Sylvia Plath's semi-autobiographical 1963 novel of the same name, which is set in the 1950s.

The Bell Jar, about a young woman's struggle with mental illness, was previously turned into a film by director Larry Peerce in 1979, with Marilyn Hassett starring as lead character Esther Greenwood.

Fanning will tackle the role of Esther in the reboot, which Dunst co-wrote with Nellie Kim, reports Deadline.com.

In addition to starring in the project, Dakota will also serve as a producer.

Production is expected to begin early next year (17).

Dunst has previously taken charge of two short films, 2007's Welcome and 2010's Bastard, and last year (15), she teased her plans to test her moviemaking skills with a full-length release.

She was coy about details, but revealed she had a project in development as she spoke to Gotham magazine.

"I might be doing that next year," she said. "We're in the rewrite phase (of the script) and we have an actress. It's almost all together, but I can't fully talk about it yet."

The film news emerges a week after Dunst earned an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Movie for her work on hit crime drama series Fargo, in which she played Peggy Blumquist. Kirsten's TV husband and rumored real-life boyfriend, Jesse Plemons, is also up for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie, while the show itself is shortlisted for Outstanding Limited Series, among other awards.

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