Is Kirsten Dunst adapting The Bell Jar?

This afternoon, I was chatting with Jennifer Dawn Whitney (@Critical Cookie) about an interview she read with Hollywood actor Kirsten Dunst. The interview, which is published in the latest issue of The Gentlewoman (Spring and Summer 2016), reveals that Dunst is working on a directorial debut. Sheryl Garratt writes the following:

For the past couple of years, Kirsten has been working on a film script of her own with a girlfriend. The production hasn’t been publicly announced yet, so she is unwilling to go into too much detail but it is an adaptation of a novel set in the 1950s that many women will have read, she says. “It’s a book that people care about at a certain age.” She plans to direct it herself and she already has an impressive lead actress in place. The actress approached her, she adds, and she wells up just thinking about such a vote of confidence. “I’m nervous. There’s a part of me that’s like, ‘What am I doing? Why would I ever put myself in the position to be ripped apart to direct this?’ I know I’m going to be out of my mind for however long it takes!”

So, what do we know? While Dunst is reluctant to divulge too much information at such an early stage, she tells us that it is a) a novel, b) popular with women of ‘a certain age’, and c) set during the 1950s. The sensitivity with which Dunst discussed the project suggests that it is still a novel that provokes strong reactions, and which enjoys some level of enduring popularity. Jennifer wondered aloud whether Dunst is adapting Sylvia Plath’s semi-autobiographical novel The Bell Jar (1963), which opens in 1953 (‘a queer, sultry summer, the summer they executed the Rosenbergs…’)

What do you think? Is Kirsten Dunst adapting The Bell Jar? If not, what other contender might there be that matches the description?

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