We’re going to have to chalk this up to an unconfirmed rumor for the moment, but a) this is terrifically exciting if it’s true, b) we recently posted our own corroboration that points to its validity. Earlier this month we spoke to Kirsten Dunst on the “Midnight Special” press tour and the actress said she would not only reteam with “The Virgin Suicides” and “Marie Antoinette” director Sofia Coppola, but that she would shoot a new Coppola movie this year.
Our antennas went up immediately: Coppola’s last project was “The Little Mermaid,” one that she eventually left due to creative differences with the studio and no follow-up project was announced. It seems Dunst may have been hinting at tonight’s news. The Tracking Board reports that Coppola is making “The Beguiled,” a remake of the 1971 Don Siegel Civil War-set romance starring Clint Eastwood about a Union soldier who cons his way into the lonely hearts of each woman at a Confederate girls boarding school.
It gets better. Coppola apparently has Nicole Kidman, Kirsten Dunst and Elle Fanning lined-up to star. The story will apparently be a new take on the premise of the original film which is based on the Southern Gothic novel by Thomas P. Cullinan. A Good Reads synopsis describes the book not dissimilar to the movie’s logline: “A wounded Union soldier is taken into a Southern girls’ academy, and his presence sets in motion a tragedy of jealousy, hate and lust.”
Producers are evidently eyeing a Chris Pratt-like male lead for the Clint Eastwood role. Kidman will play the Head Mistress of the school, Dunst a teacher and Fanning, who starred in Coppola’s “Somewhere,” will reportedly take on the role of one of the girls residing at the house.
Coppola hasn’t directed a movie since 2013’s “The Bling Ring” so she is certainly overdue for a new one, especially considering she spent a lot of time developing, but then abandoning, “The Little Mermaid.” Legit? Dunst’s comments earlier this year certainly suggest so, not to mention the female-centric project sounds right up Coppola’s alley. Let’s hope.
4/30/15 Update: EW has confirmed elements of thia news and that at the very least, Coppola is developing the project as her next film. But no deals are in place for any of the cast, other than Elle Fanning who is in talks. [Tracking Board]