Emma Thompson’s long-in-development biopic Effie is finally gearing up for production. Thompson wrote the original script, which is a biopic of Effie Gray and centers on her doomed marriage to art critic John Ruskin in 1840’s London. Despite her beauty, Ruskin didn’t consummate the marriage and the devastated Gray eventually fell in love with Ruskin’s protégé, painter John Everett Milias. Deadline reports that Dakota Fanning will star in the title role, taking a part that was previously circled by Carey Mulligan and Saorsie Ronan.
Greg Wise (who is Thompson’s husband) will play Ruskin, and it appears that Tom Sturridge (Pirate Radio) will be playing Milias instead of previously mentioned Orlando Bloom. Rounding out the cast is Julie Walters and Derek Jacobi as Ruskin’s parents, Thompson as Lady Eastlake, the woman who takes the suffering Effie under her wing, and Edward Fox is in talks to play Eastlake’s husband. Production is set to begin October 17th in Scotland, London and Venice. Richard Laxton (An Englishman in New York) is directing.