Maleficent star Elle Fanning has been cast as Frankenstein creator Mary Shelley in Saudi Arabian director Haifaa Al-Mansour’s new film.
Romantic drama A Storm in the Stars will chronicle the young Mary Wollstonecraft’s love affair with poet Percy Shelley.
Announcing Fanning’s casting on Wednesday, producer Amy Baer tells The Hollywood Reporter, “Elle is amazingly smart and talented and very much relates to Mary as a young woman. She is going to do something extraordinary in this role that will transition her from a compelling young adult to a formidable leading lady.”
At 16, Fanning is the perfect age to play pre-marriage Shelley, who was 17 when she met and fell in love with the man who was to become her husband.
Director Haifaa Al-Mansour is the first female director out of Saudi Arabia and this is her first foray into Hollywood. Her film Wadjda was the first feature film entirely shot in Saudi Arabia. The critically-acclaimed film has won numerous awards from around the globe and was the first film ever submitted by Saudi Arabia for a foreign language Academy Award.