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Sisters Elle and Dakota Fanning will play on screen sisters in The Nightingale, an adaptation of Kristin Hannah’s hit novel 

By Ally Mauch
March 03, 2020 12:29 PM
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Elle and Dakota Fanning are appearing in the same film for the first time since 2001’s I Am Sam, in which Elle played a younger version of Dakota’s character.

In The Nightingale, which will premiere Dec. 25, Elle, 21, and Dakota, 26, will be able to tap into their real lives, playing on-screen sisters.

The film is adapted from Kristin Hannah’s best-selling 2015 novel of the same name, a coming-of-age story focusing on two sisters struggling to survive on the eve of World War II in France. Melanie Laurent, who previously directed Elle in Galveston, will direct the adaptation.

Dakota Fanning and Elle Fanning
Credit: Dave Benett/Getty Images

The Nightingale will be the first time we act on screen together. We have played the same character at different ages but have never spoken to each other in front of a camera,” the Fannings said in a joint statement posted to Elle’s Instagram page in December. “For years, we have looked for a film to do with one another and then this gem appeared.”

“As sisters, to share our artistry with each other while bringing such a powerful sister story to life is a dream come true,” the statement continued. “We are so lucky to have our fearless director, Mélanie Laurent, to guide us along on the journey. Let’s do this, sister!!”

Special Screening Of Bleecker Street's "Teen Spirit" - After Party
Credit: Kevin Winter/Getty

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Dakota Fanning most recently appeared in Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood, playing Manson family member Squeaky Fromme. Younger sister Elle last starred in Maleficent: Mistress of Evil as Aurora opposite Angelina Jolie’s Maleficent.

In June, Dakota spoke about her special bond with Elle in an interview with Shape, saying they’re “really close.”

“We always have been. We’re very different, but we’re very connected,” Dakota said. “We don’t talk every day, but we don’t have to. We just have that special bond.”

The Nightingale will premiere Dec. 25.