EXCLUSIVE: Elle Fanning will star in Olive’s Ocean, a feature adaptation of the Kevin Henkes young adult novel that was optioned by producer Donald Rosenfeld. Christina Hammonds Reed, a Nicholl Fellowship finalist, has been set to write the screenplay. Andreas Roald and Celestia Fox will produce alongside Rosenfeld.
She will play a teen who goes on a summer of soul searching after discovering that a classmate who recently died in a tragic accident had secretly hoped to become her friend. Henkes won the 2004 Newbury Honor for this book. Fanning is currently in production on Disney’s Maleficent, opposite Angelina Jolie. She will next be seen starring in Sally Potter’s Ginger And Rosa, which has its world premiere next month at the Toronto Film Festival. She most recently starred in the J.J. Abrams-directed Super 8 and the Cameron Crowe-helmed We Bought A Zoo.
The movie, which will cost about $11 million and be financed through private equity, came about because of Rosenfeld’s experience with Elle Fanning’s sister, Dakota. He produced Effie, the film that was scripted by Emma Thompson and directed by Richard Laxton, with Dakota Fanning playing the title role of Effie Gray, the teen bride of Victorian art critic John Ruskin. While on set, Rosenfeld asked her sister Elle what her favorite book was, and when she answered Olive’s Ocean, that started the process. “I haven’t worked with a more dedicated actor than Dakota and can’t wait to work with Elle,” Rosenfeld said. “There is such talent, they are young but they are old souls.” Elle Fanning is repped by WME and One Talent Management.