Dakota and Elle Fanning pose together on a red carpet.
(Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Is Kristin Hannah’s ‘The Nightingale’ Movie Ever Going To See the Light of Day?

The Fanning sisters are teaming up for the first time since 2001 to bring us what promises to be an emotional rollercoaster in the film adaption of The Nightingale. That’s what we’ve been told for some time now.

Recommended Videos

Based on the novel of the same name, The Nightingale follows the story of two French sisters living in Nazi-occupied France, and their battle to survive. The Nightingale is a best-selling novel by author Kristin Hannah, who also penned the novel Firefly Lane, which was turned into a successful Netflix series.

The Nightingale was originally published in 2015 to critical acclaim, winning awards such as a Goodreads Choice Award for Best Historical Fiction and spending 20 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. It was optioned for adaptation all the way back in 2015 and has taken some time to finally make its way to our screens.

What’s The Nightingale about?

Set in France during WWII, the story follows two sisters, Vianne Mauriac and Isabelle Rossignol. Vianne has lost her husband to the war already, not knowing whether he is a German prisoner or dead, and she has her eight-year-old daughter to think about and simply wants to put her head down and survive this war. Isabelle, on the other hand, is not willing to let the Nazis just take over her country and works alongside the resistance, running errands that could get her killed. The sisters may have different views on the war and their place in it, but events may force them to work together once more.

As the movie is an adaptation, there is a chance that some changes could be made to Hannah’s original story, but it’s not yet known if that will be the case. Dakota and Ella Fanning are starring as Vianne and Isabelle respectively. This will be the first time the sisters have worked opposite one another since the 2001 film I Am Sam. So far, this is the only cast announcement made.

Growing pains

The film was optioned by TriStar Pictures all the way back in 2015, so why has it taken so long to get made? Well, many films can take their time to get made, and with the last half decade being extremely tough for Hollywood to produce anything thanks to the pandemic and strikes, it’s no surprise some films have been pushed back. But The Nightingale was having problems even before that.

The film was initially set to be directed by Michelle MacLaren (the director behind television shows such as Game of Thrones, Better Call Saul, and Breaking Bad), but she stepped down just before a production shutdown. The film would go on to be pushed back over and over again. Scheduling was a major problem, with Mélanie Laurent (The Mad Women’s Ball), who took over from MacLaren, stating to Collider, “It’s super hard for us to find another date and to make everybody on board at the same time, so it’s a mess.”

The film has no set release date and no trailer yet, but some have speculated that it could come out in the U.S. and U.K. towards the end of 2024 or beginning of 2025.

The Mary Sue is supported by our audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a small affiliate commission. Learn more about our Affiliate Policy
Image of Laura Pollacco
Laura Pollacco
Laura Pollacco (she/her) is a contributing writer here at The Mary Sue, having written for digital media since 2022 and has a keen interest in all things Marvel, Lord of the Rings, and anime. She has worked for various publications including We Got This Covered, but much of her work can be found gracing the pages of print and online publications in Japan, where she resides. Outside of writing she treads the boards as an actor, is a portrait and documentary photographer, and takes the little free time left to explore Japan.