Let’s face it – when you’re dealing with anything surrounding poet and novelist Sylvia Plath, the twin subjects of depression and suicide are always going to factor in. The last time Plath’s life was brought to the screen – in 2003, with Gwyneth Paltrow in Sylvia – it focused on her struggles with sadness and deep depression.
But now Julia Stiles is tackling Plath’s semi-autobiographical novel The Bell Jar for Plum pictures. It’s the tale of Esther Greenwood – widely seen as a thinly veiled version of Plath – a reporter who heads to New York to kick off her career, but ends up lonely and withdrawn, ultimately heading back to Boston. The story was filmed in 1979, but that version flopped at the box office.
Now, according to producer Cline Rattray, The Bell Jar will try to look on the bright side of life: "Esther Greenwood has a strong outlook on life, and we're really looking to bring out the humour in the character," she blabbed to Variety. "We don't want to do a depressing descent into the world of suicide." Good luck with that.
The film has been a passion project of Stiles’ for some time, and it’s only now that she’s found a production team to help her stump up the dosh to buy the rights. Tristine Skyler is bashing out the script and the movie should start shooting early next year.