Julia Stiles to do 'Bell Jar'
NEW YORK (Hollywood Reporter) -- Julia Stiles will star in and produce an adaptation of Sylvia Plath's autobiographical novel "The Bell Jar."
The actress and her representatives at Creative Artists Agency spent two years optioning rights to the coveted project from French producers StudioCanal, and closed the deal Friday.
The 1950s-era drama centers on young book editor Esther Greenwood (Stiles), who grows troubled by the social trappings of her time and slowly descends into mental illness.
Principal photography is tentatively expected to begin in early 2008. Also producing are indie firms Plum Pictures and Killer Films.
A 1979 version starred Marilyn Hassett. Since then, rights to the only novel by the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet (published around the time of her suicide in 1963) have been held by several parties. Gwyneth Paltrow starred in a 2003 biopic of Plath's life, "Sylvia."
Stiles wrote and directed the dramatic short film "Raving," produced by Plum and financed by Elle magazine based on an article in the publication. The film, starring Zooey Deschanel and Bill Irwin, will premiere this weekend at the Tribeca Film Festival and May 8 on the Sundance Channel. She was most recently in theaters with the 2006 remake of "The Omen."