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Last year at Sundance newcomer Elizabeth Olsen became the talk of the fest with her breakthrough performance in Sean Durkin's heralded directorial debut Martha Marcy May Marlene. This year the indie It Girl returns to Sundance opposite How I Met Your Mother star turned writer-director Josh Radnor in his sophomore effort Liberal Arts, which premieres today. And now Deadline has revealed that the charming starlet has entered final negotiations along with Dakota Fanning, and Anton Yelchin, who drew notice last year with Like Crazy and The Beaver, to co-star in Very Good Girls, the directorial debut of Losing Isaiah scribe Naomi Foner.
Should they sign on, Fanning and Olsen would play a pair of deeply bonded best friends, looking to lose their virginity in the summer following high school graduation. But loyalty soon turns to rivalry when they fall for the same boy, who'd be portrayed by Yelchin. While this may seem the stuff of schmaltzy chick flicks and crude teen comedies, Foner is known for more dramatic and earnest fare, and her coming-of-age drama seems more focused on the girls' quests to become adults than it does petty frenemy feuds. Plus, the interest of these lauded young actors bodes well for the drama's buzz, as each has been drawing attention for their fearless and poignant portrayals. Says Foner on her script:
“The film deals with female sexuality and friendship in a way we haven’t seen before. These girls will be stunning young women in a couple of years, but they’ve struggled through high school with only each other. Most of us have been there. This is the summer where they finally get to touch real life.”
If these roles are as meaty as Foner suggests, it would be an absolute thrill to see two ingénues as skilled and bold as Fanning and Olsen take them on. Their involvement would secure Very Good Girls the interest of critics and movie fans alike.
Very Good Girls, which is set to shoot in New York in June, will be the first feature produced under Herrick Entertainment and Groundswell Productions newly minted partnership, which is expected to create three to five movies each year. Their next joint effort will be a family-comedy from Grace is Gone writer-director Jim Strouse titled The Hollars. It's expected to shoot in July, so expect casting updates soon.