Dakota Fanning and Sis To Play Disabled Siblings

by | February 9, 2007 | Comments

Dakota Fanning is carving out quite the career for herself. She’ll follow up the controversial Sundance flick "Hounddog" (you know, the "Dakota Fanning Rape Movie") by playing one half of a real-life duo of disabled girls; younger sister Elle will also star.

The eleven-year-old Fanning (who turns a mature 12 this month) made headlines last month by playing an Elvis-loving rape victim in Deborah Kampmeier‘s "Hounddog," though critics mostly agreed that the scene in question wasn’t all that scandalous. Conservatives didn’t care, calling for a block of the movie and the arrest of the adults involved. Even state officials threw their opinions into the mix.

Fanning, making right wingers uncomfortable in "Hounddog"

Now Fanning is planning another controversial role with "Hurricane Mary," the true story about a mother’s fight to give her disabled twins a public school education. Fanning will star alongside Patricia Clarkson, Chris Cooper, William H. Macy, and Laura San Giacomo in the pic, while her look-alike eight-year-old sister Elle ("Babel") will play her twin sister.

Set to direct is Tony award-winning director Arvin Brown, who also has an extensive career in television ("Picket Fences," "Ally McBeal," "The Closer"). The script is written by actress Marianne Leone, who is married to Chris Cooper.

Production on the film (listed in IMDB under the title "Conquistadora") begins in New York in September; the 2008 film seems likely to debut on the festival circuit once completed.

The screen vet in lighter, more family-friendly fare

The ever-busy elder Fanning’s also got a few more juicy roles on her plate (whoever manages this girl is a project-picking genius), including the title role in Henry Selick‘s ("The Nightmare Before Christmas") "Coraline," from the Neil Gaiman book, and the still-in-development book adaptation "The Secret Life of Bees." Oh, and come Oscar time, she’ll be busy — she is the youngest member of the Academy (unless voters this month go for the two-years-younger Abigail Breslin).

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