Elle Fanning to star in film adaptation of Stuart Murdoch's God Help the Girl

Elle Fanning to star in film adaptation of Stuart Murdoch's God Help the Girl

Fanning in We Bought a Zoo

The Glasgow-set musical is set to commence filming in June

When Belle and Sebastian’s Stuart Murdoch created God Help the Girl back in 2009, he knew that he was writing a 60s girl-group soundtrack for a film that didn't yet exist.

Now, after years of fund-raising and producing, a film adaptation of the album has grown so big in popularity it has attracted one of Hollywood’s brightest upcoming stars – Mary Elle Fanning.

While that surname is not new on the red carpet thanks to big sister Dakota (I am Sam, Hide and Seek, War of the Worlds), Elle has been making her own waves over the past five years, winning roles alongside established actors. Her most recent endeavour was We Bought a Zoo with Matt Damon and Scarlett Johansson, and in 2008 she played seven-year-old Daisy in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button with Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett.

Now she's set to star in the Glasgow-based musical adap written and directed by Murdoch. The story follows a young girl named Eve who begins writing songs as a way of soothing her emotions while in hospital. There, she befriends James (played by Olly Alexander) and Cassie – two further characters that grow from the songs.

More than 80 musicians took part in the making of the album – including a 45-piece orchestra – and the production of the film has been nothing short of remarkable. While having producer Barry Mendel (The Sixth Sense, Bridesmaids) on board can't hurt, the film's budget has also been partially raised through Kickstarter, the world’s largest crowd-funding project. The initial target amount of $100,000 has been surpassed by around $20,000, with filming due to commence in Glasgow this June.

Following God Help the Girl, Fanning's next role will be Sleeping Beauty in Disney’s Maleficent, alongside Angelina Jolie.

God Help the Girl

  • 3 stars
  • 2013
  • UK
  • 1h 51min
  • 15
  • Directed by: Stuart Murdoch
  • Written by: Stuart Murdoch
  • Cast: Olly Alexander, Hannah Murray, Pierre Boulanger
  • UK release: 22 August 2014

Eve (Browning), battling her way back from depression and chronic anorexia, starts to write songs as a way of dealing with her feelings. The first film written and directed by Belle and Sebastian's Murdoch is a twee, whimsical love letter to Glasgow which, luckily, has charm and sincerity on its side.

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