Julia Stiles has been cast to play the main character in The Bell Jar, Esther Greenwood, a woman whose depression leads her to undergo electroshock therapy and attempt suicide. However, the production team — of which Stiles is also a part — seem to want to veer away from anything too sad.
According to Variety:
Book has many dark overtones, but Rattray said the project will emphasize some of the more uplifting elements.
"Esther Greenwood has a strong outlook on life, and we're really looking to bring out the humor in the character," she said. "We don't want to do a depressing descent into the world of suicide."
To find out why I'm not completely thrilled about this, read more
To be honest, this movie news made me cringe when I first read it. The Bell Jar is sensitive territory for obvious reasons. And until recently when Stiles made her own short film starring Zooey Deschanel (which will screen at the Tribeca Film Festival, by the way) I could not take her very seriously.
Yet apparently Stiles has "been seeking to bring a new version [of The Bell Jar] to the screen for several years" which makes me think this is not something Stiles is just doing for the heck of it. Besides, the reality of the matter is, I can't imagine anyone in the role of Esther Greenwood, so Stiles may as well be the one.