Sofia Coppola is set to write, direct, and produce THE BEGUILED, a remake of the 1971 Clint Eastwood Civil War romance, sources confirm. Nicole Kidman, Kirsten Dunst, and Elle Fanning are attached to star in what will be Coppola’s first feature film since her 2013 fame-obsessed crime drama The Bling Ring.
The story will be a new take on the premise of the Don Siegel-directed original, which is based on the Southern Gothic novel by Thomas Cullinan. Set during the Civil War, a young girl from an all-female Confederate boarding school comes across an injured Union soldier. The school takes him in to help him recover, but he cons his way into their hearts and the women start to fight with him and each other for his attention.
Nicole Kidman will play the role of Martha Farnsworth, the Head Mistress of the school originally played by Academy Award-winning actress Geraldine Page. Frequent Coppola collaborators Elle Fanning (Somewhere) and Kirsten Dunst (The Virgin Suicides, Marie Antoinette) also attached to roles in the film, with Fanning playing a girl residing at the house, and Dunst a teacher.
Producers are also searching for the male lead previously played by Eastwood, and sources say they’re eyeing a Chris Pratt type for the part.
Focus Features is set to release the The Beguiled, with Coppola producing alongside with her brother, Roman, under their American Zoetrope banner. Fred Roos of FR Productions will serve as an executive producer while Rebecca Arzoian will oversee at Focus.
The Beguiled is a project that is definitely in Coppola’s wheelhouse, but for her to take on a remake is something new. She is no stranger to movies based on source material; Coppola adapted Jeffrey Eugenides’s The Virgin Suicides and gave us her interesting interpretation of the excessive monarch, Marie Antoinette. In The Bling Ring, she gave us a taste of true crime — more or less. Coppola’s style tends to gravitate towards conflicted female characters who subject themselves to failure or quietly find a side of themselves that they never new was there.
In addition to all of Coppola’s aforementioned films, Lost In Translation, starring Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson, earned her an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay in 2003. The pic also received a nod for Best Picture as well as a nomination for Best Director, which made her the first American woman to be nominated in the category. She recently directed, produced and wrote A Very Murray Christmas and is slated to produce the adaptation of Alysia Abbott’s Fairyland. She is repped by ICM Partners.
Kidman recently starred in the American remake of the Argentinian film Secret in Their Eyes. She can be seen next in the adaptation of the A. Scott Berg book, Genius opposite Jude Law as well as the Garth Davis drama Lion with Rooney Mara. She is repped by CAA and Shanahan Management.
Dunst can currently be seen in Jeff Nichols’s Midnight Special alongside Michael Shannon and Joel Edgerton. She received a Golden Globe nomination for her role in the second season of FX’s Fargo. She can be seen next in Woodshock as well as the upcoming drama Hidden Figures starring Octavia Spencer and Taraji P. Henson. She is repped by UTA.
Fanning was recently seen in the Academy Award-nominated Trumbo as well as About Ray. She can be seen next in as the star of Nicolas Winding Refn’s The Neon Demon and the romantic drama A Storm in the Stars, where she will play Frankenstein author Mary Shelley. She is repped by WME and Echo Lake Entertainment.
Dino-Ray Ramos | Staff Writer