Get ready for another entry in the “siblings playing siblings” subgenre. (Donnie Darko, anyone?)
Dakota Fanning and Elle Fanning will portray sisters in the film adaptation of Kristin Hannah’s best-selling 2015 novel The Nightingale. Inglourious Basterds star Mélanie Laurent is also on board to direct the film, which is being written by Dana Stevens (Safe Haven). The Wrap first reported the news.
This will mark the first time the Fanning sisters have appeared together on screen, though Elle played a younger version of Dakota’s character in the 2001 film I Am Sam.
“The Nightingale will be the first time we act on screen together. We have played the same character at different ages but have never spoken to each other in front of a camera. For years, we have looked for a film to do with one another and then this gem appeared,” the Fannings said in a joint statement. “As sisters, to share our artistry with each other while bringing such a powerful sister story to life is a dream come true. We are so lucky to have our fearless director, Mélanie Laurent, to guide us along on the journey. Let’s do this, sister!!”
The Nightingale follows two French sisters on the eve of World War II, as they struggle to survive the German occupation of France and resist Nazi rule. Parts of the story, such as one of the sisters helping downed Allied pilots escape the Germans, are inspired by actual historical events.
An adaptation of the novel has been in the works for some time; studio TriStar originally tapped Breaking Bad director Michelle MacLaren to direct it in 2016. A release date for the film has yet to be announced.
Dakota Fanning last appeared in Quentin Tarantino’s Oscar contender Once Upon a Time in Hollywood earlier this year, while Elle Fanning recently reprised her role of Princess Aurora in Maleficent: Mistress of Evil. She was also previously directed by Laurent in 2018’s Galveston.