Dakota Fanning will walk down the aisle in "Effie". The actress, who turned 17 last February, is set to portray the titular character in the period biopic, written by Emma Thompson, about the unfortunate marriage between Euphemia Gray (Effie) and art critic John Ruskin in 1840's London.
Effie was 17 years old when tying the knot with Ruskin. Despite her beauty, Ruskin never consumated their marriage, which lasted for five years, because he was disgusted with her body. After suffering through a loveless marriage, Effie fell in love with Ruskin's protege, painter John Everett Milias, and married him.
Previously, Carey Mulligan and Saoirse Ronan were reported circling the coveted lead role. Orlando Bloom was also mentioned to play Milias, but he has apparently dropped the part which now belongs to Tom Sturridge. Greg Wise, who is Thompson's husband, will play Ruskin.
Beside penning the script, Thompson will portray Lady Eastlake, who takes devastated Effie under her wing. Edward Fox is in talks to play Lady Eastlake's husband, while Julie Walters and Derek Jacobi will portray Ruskin's parents.
Richard Laxton ("An Englishman in New York") is set to direct the movie which is expected to kick off principal photography in October. Deadline reports the project eyes a premiere at the Venice Film Festival in 2012.
Dakota Fanning made her breakthrough when starring in 2001's "I Am Sam" alongside Sean Penn. The Screen Actors Guild Award nominee has since taken more adult roles in such films as "Hounddog", "The Secret Life of Bees" and "The Runaways". Her upcoming films include "The Twilight Saga's Breaking Dawn Part I" and its follow-up "The Twilight Saga's Breaking Dawn Part II".