By Simon Dang | The Playlist September 27, 2011 at 3:23AM
After her minimalist, moody drama "Somewhere," Sofia Coppola has been busy with the arrival of her second child and recent marriage to longtime partner, Phoenix frontman Thomas Mars but it looks like the writer-director may already be plotting her next feature. Coppola has reportedly thrown an invitation out to young, little-known Australian actress Olivia De Jonge to audition this November for what is described as the filmmaker's "newest film."
"Being flown to the U.S. to meet Sofia Coppola is really exciting," De Jonge told the Australian publication The West. "I was freaking out. I'm a little nervous as I don't want to muck it up I want to do my best." The young actress only has one film on her résumé -- Maziar Lahooti's "Good Pretender" -- but she's already caught the eye of Hollywood casting agents and now, someone in the Coppola casting camp.
What could this mysterious Coppola project be? One strong possibility is the gestating adaptation of Francine Prose's coming-of-age novel "Goldengrove." That tragic story centers on thirteen-year-old Nico (De Jonge is fourteen) and follows her exploration of grief and mourning over her sister Margaret's drowning. With a lack of support from her parents, Nico finds comfort in Margaret's boyfriend, Aaron, with whom she drifts into a poignant and complicated relationship.
As we mentioned at the time of the novel's optioning in early 2010, the story certainly has Coppola written all over it and would likely draw from her personal experiences; she was only 14 at the time of the speedboating accident that killed her brother Gian-Carlo. Coppola has always been one to draw from her own life for her films with "Lost In Translation" inspired by her own travelling while "Somewhere" was noted to have grown out of Coppola's experiences with her own famous father, Francis Ford Coppola.
As a rare defender of "Somewhere," this writer is naturally excited for any return by Coppola. We had also thought Elle Fanning might have done enough to automatically score the lead role in "Goldengrove" if Coppola was going ahead with it though it remains to be seen whether that novel adaptation is, in fact, what De Jonge will be auditioning for or if it's something else entirely. Either way, it seems Coppola is throwing out a wide net to find her next female lead, and is looking for a fresh face. [via I Heart Sofia]