Elle Fanning is set to star in Hulu’s new scripted series, The Girl From Plainville. The Great actress is sticking with Hulu for her next big TV role as the controversial Michelle Carter, the then-teenager at the center of the infamous “texting suicide” case.
What we know of “The Girl From Plainville” so far
“The Girl From Plainville,” will see Fanning starring as Carter, who was infamously convicted of involuntary manslaughter in 2017. For encouraging her boyfriend to kill himself in the summer of 2014. The new series will explore “Carter’s relationship with Roy, the events that led to his death, and later, her highly-publicized trial.”
The new Hulu limited series is based on writer Jesse Barron’s 2017 Esquire article of the same name. Barron and Erin Lee Carr, who directed the HBO docu series about Carter’s case, I Love You, Now Die, will serve as consulting producers. Liz Hannah and Patrick Macmanus will serve as co-writers, show-runners and executive producers on the limited series. Fanning and Echo Lake’s, Brittany Kahan Ward will be the executive producers. An official premiere date has not been revealed yet.
The Girl From Plainville marks Fanning’s second project with Hulu. Elle is fresh off the success of the Hulu historical dramedy, “The Great.” Where she played the titular role of Catherine the Great. The satirical series, which was renewed for Season 2, picked up several Emmy nominations this year, such as Outstanding Writing and Outstanding Directing.
The Texting Suicide Case
Carter, now 23, was 17 years old when she instructed her 18-year-old, suicidal boyfriend, Conrad Roy III to kill himself. Carter was arrested after authorities discovered Roy’s body in his pickup truck on July 13, 2014. In the weeks before Roy killed himself, he exchanged several texts with his long-distance girlfriend, who encouraged him to die by suicide.
“You keep pushing it off and say you’ll do it but u never do. It’s always gonna be that way if u don’t take action,” she reportedly texted him on the day he died. Roy died of carbon monoxide fumes in his truck. Moreover, Carter allegedly told him over the phone to get back into the vehicle after he had second thoughts.
In 2015, she was found guilty and convicted of involuntary manslaughter. After initially facing the possibility of 20 years behind bars, Carter was sentenced to 15 months at Bristol County Jail in Massachusetts as well as 5 years of probation.
However, Carter was ultimately released early in January as a result of good behavior, having served just under a year behind bars.
Bristol County Sheriff, Thomas Hodgson at the time spoke about how Carter had been a “model inmate” with no disciplinary issues. “Michelle has earned enough time off her sentence to be able to end her sentence on January 23rd. She’s attended programs, she’s had a job, she’s been polite to our staff and volunteers and she gets along with the inmates. There have been no disciplinary problems with her whatsoever and she’s been a model inmate in here at Bristol County.”
“15 months is nothing to a lifetime with my grandson”
The Roy family were visibly upset and later voiced their dismay over her release. Conrad’s grandfather spoke in a statement addressing her early release. “It sure is a tough day. I’m disgusted with the whole system. You would think that the judge gave her a sentence that was easy enough for her. But to then let her out on good behavior…who is good in jail, has good behavior? It is very difficult. This doesn’t work for me. If you ask me, she is not a good person. The sentence was too lenient. 15 months is nothing to a lifetime with my grandson.”
Given the case’s complexities, it’ll certainly be interesting to see how Hulu will bring the narrative to the small screen.
“This allows us to dive deeper into the events surrounding one of the most controversial trials”
The Girl From Plainville is produced by UCP, a division of Universal Studios Group. They optioned rights to Barron’s article in August 2019. “Partnering with Jesse and Erin on adapting this true crime into a drama series allows us to dive deeper into the events surrounding one of the most controversial trials in recent history.” said Dawn Olmstead, UCP president, at the time. “They have already done an incredible job in illuminating this compelling and complicated story.”
Upcoming Projects in line for Fanning
The Nightingale, is another upcoming project for Elle Fanning. The movie is based on the novel of the same name by Kristin Hannah. That film will mark the first time she will share the screen with older sister, Dakota Fanning. They will be portraying sisters, in the dramatic feature film.
The movie is to be directed by Inglourious Basterds actress, Mélanie Laurent. It will follow a pair of sisters in wartime France as they frantically try to keep their lives from falling apart at the onset of World War II. The Nightingale is currently listed as being in pre-production, and is expected, for now, on December 22nd, 2021.