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Keira Knightley and Dakota Fanning are duelling Effies

2:00 PM on 11.08.2011

Xander Markham

Associate Editor

Dakota Fanning is currently shooting a period drama about the life of Euphemia 'Effie' Gray, an 1850s woman who was married as a teenager to art critic John Ruskin. They subsequently divorced when he refused to consummate the marriage and she instead hitched up with artist (and Ruskin protégé) John Everett Millais.

Upon hearing that there existed a period drama she wasn't starring in, Keira Knightley immediately started talks to star in Untouched, a rival production to Fanning's Effie. Maybe it didn't happen quite that way - although the good lady Knightley is awfully keen on her period dramas - but this looks to be another case, à la Snow White, where two projects in development  coincidentally happen to be tackling the same material. Effie Gray's story has already been told in novels, plays, television and operas, so cinema clearly had some catching up to do. Central to the story's mystery is why Ruskin refused to consummate the marriage, supposedly because something about Gray's body disgusted him. Some theories point to it being her menstrual blood, which really would make this a period drama.

(I'm so sorry)

[Indiewire, via EMPIRE]

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