Image Credit: Maury Phillips/WireImage.comDakota Fanning is in talks to star in Summit’s adaptation of the young adult novel If I Stay by Gayle Forman, Variety reports. In case you haven’t read the book — or the blog post I wrote after my eyes repeatedly welled up — she’ll play Mia, a 17-year-old girl from Oregon who gets into a car accident with her parents and younger brother. The choice of whether she stays (lives) or goes (dies) is hers and plays out over a 196-page outerbody experience that you can read in one sitting.
Twilight director Catherine Hardwicke was originally attached to the film but dropped out to helm Red Riding Hood, and Brazilian filmmaker Heitor Dhalia has stepped in, the trade reports. This is a great, age-appropriate role for 16-year-old Fanning, whose wise-beyond-her-years demeanor will serve well the story of a young woman grappling with a decision that no teen should ever have to face. Forman has written a second book, Where She Went, which hits shelves in April 2011. (Don’t click that link if you don’t want a spoiler.) With that sequel and Summit, home of the Twilight Saga, behind it, the movie should be able to find an audience. I’d love to see a young, talented actress like Fanning carry a successful film. What about you?