Alternating between indie-circuit hits (Young Ones) and blockbuster hits (Maleficent), Elle Fanning has worked steadily to emerge out of older sister Dakota’s Hollywood shadow, and she’ll be aiming squarely for the hearts and minds of the YA crowd in upcoming project All the Bright Places. This morning, producers have announced that Fanning will team with Youth in Revolt director Miguel Arteta for the pic, an adaptation of Jennifer Niven’s novel.
Fanning has been attached to the lead role of Violet since last year. Niven herself is penning the script for the adaptation, which is a priority for financiers Demarest Media and Mazur/Kaplan.
“Violet and Finch’s achingly heartfelt and authentic story is the most convincing portrayal of teenage life I have ever come across. It’s such a privilege to bring it to the screen with the help of its engaging author and the great support of Demarest Media and The Mazur Kaplan Company, who couldn’t be more passionate about Jennifer’s book and this adaptation.”
Arteta has been working in television more frequently than in film over the past few years, helming episodes of The Big C, New Girl, American Horror Story, Enlightened, House of Lies, Nurse Jackie and The New Normal, among others. He last directed kiddie book adaptation Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, and his other feature directing gigs include Cedar Rapids and The Good Girl.
This project is most comparable to Youth in Revolt, a sleeper success aimed at the teen crowd that found him working with Michael Cera and Portia Doubleday. Unlike that pic, however, All the Bright Places is a tear-jerking story that tackles the thorny issue of mental illness and does so with uncommon clarity and realism.
All the Bright Places became a New York Times bestseller when it was released in January of this year. But even before that, producers had pegged it as an heir apparent to John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars and worked to secure Fanning for the lead role.
Here’s the official synopsis:
Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, and he constantly thinks of ways he might kill himself. But each time, something good, no matter how small, stops him.
Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister’s recent death.
When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it’s unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up on a project to discover the “natural wonders” of their state, both Finch and Violet make more important discoveries: It’s only with Violet that Finch can be himself—a weird, funny, live-out-loud guy who’s not such a freak after all. And it’s only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet’s world grows, Finch’s begins to shrink.
This is an intense, gripping novel perfect for fans of Gayle Forman, Jay Asher, Rainbow Rowell, John Green, and Jenny Downham from a talented new voice in YA, Jennifer Niven.