Belfast Telegraph

Fanning cast as Thompson's Effie?

Dakota Fanning has apparently been cast in the title role of Emma Thompson's period biopic Effie.

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, Deadline reports.

Effie has been in the pipeline for five years, with both Carey Mulligan and Saoirse Ronan 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 rising 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 is due to star in October in Scotland, London and Venice and producers hope it will premiere at the 2012 Venice Film Festival.

Emma, who has been filming Men In Black 3, has previously adapted Sense And Sensibility and the Nanny McPhee stories for the big screen, but this will be her first original script.

Dakota, 17, has just finished shooting the final two instalments of Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn.

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