Fanning takes title role in Emma Thompson-scripted biopic.

Deadline reports that Dakota Fanning (‘The Runaways’) has landed the lead in Richard Laxton’s upcoming biopic ‘Effie.’ The role was previously circled by Carey Mulligan (‘Drive’) and Saorsie Ronan (‘Hanna’).

Penned by Emma Thompson, the story tells of the unfortunate marriage between Euphemia ‘Effie’ Gray and the famed critic John Ruskin in 1850s London. Despite Effie’s beauty, Ruskin never consummated the marriage. After suffering through a loveless marriage and browbeating by her in-laws, Effie fell in love with Ruskin’s protégé, painter John Everett Millais.

Fanning will be joined by Greg Wise as Ruskin, Tom Sturridge (‘The Boat That Rocked’) playing Milias, Thompson plays Lady Eastlake, who takes Effie under her wing when it was clear the union was destroying the young woman. Julie Walters and Derek Jacobi play Ruskin’s parents, and Edward Fox is in talks to play Lady Eastlake’s husband, Sir Charles Eastlake.