Actress Dakota Fanning has signed on for the title role in Effie, a part which Saoirse Ronan was previously circling.

Effie tells the tale of Euphemia "Effie" Gray, a teenager who married famed London art critic John Ruskin (Greg Wise) in the 1850s. The marriage turned out to be a disaster, though, with Ruskin refusing to consummate the marriage to his young bride. Even though Effie was considered gorgeous, Ruskin was somehow repulsed by her body. Effie eventually turned her affections to Ruskin's protege, John Everett Millais (Tom Sturridge).

Emma Thompson wrote the original screenplay and will portray Lady Eastlake, who took young Effie under her wing. Julie Walters and Derek Jacobi will portray Effie's parents and Edward Fox is in talks to play Lady Eastlake's husband, Sir Charles Eastlake, an esteemed patron of the Royal Academy.

Richard Laxton is directing Effie from Emma Thompson's script, which is scheduled to start production on October 17 in Scotland, London, and Venice.