fb-pixelElle Fanning to play Michelle Carter in a new show based on the texting suicide case - The Boston Globe Skip to main content

Elle Fanning to play Michelle Carter in a new show based on the texting suicide case

In this Feb. 11, 2019, file photo, Michelle Carter sits in Taunton District Court for sentencing.MARK STOCKWELL/Associated Press

An upcoming Hulu series based on the Michelle Carter texting suicide case that sparked attention worldwide has its lead.

Hulu announced Friday that Elle Fanning (“Super 8,” “Maleficent”) will play Carter in “The Girl From Plainville,” a series that was first announced in 2019. Based on an Esquire article by Jesse Barron, “The Girl From Plainville” will explore Carter’s relationship with her then-boyfriend, 18-year-old Conrad Roy III, the events that led to Roy’s July 2014 suicide, and Carter’s subsequent involuntary manslaughter trial.

Elle Fanning.Andreas Rentz/Getty Images/file

Prior to his death, Carter, then 17, sent Roy dozens of text messages encouraging him to kill himself. In 2017, she was convicted of involuntary manslaughter and sentenced to 15 months in prison. She was released from the Bristol County House of Correction in Dartmouth in January, more than three months early for good behavior.


“The Girl From Plainville” marks the second time the texting suicide case has been adapted for the screen: In 2019, HBO released “I Love You, Now Die: The Commonwealth v. Michelle Carter,” a documentary film directed by Erin Lee Carr that featured courtroom footage from Carter’s trial. Both Carr and Barron will serve as consulting producers on the Hulu series, which will be cowritten by Liz Hannah (“The Post”) and Patrick Macmanus (“Marco Polo”), who will serve as co-showrunners.

The show will be a return to Hulu for Fanning, who currently plays the lead role of Catherine the Great in “The Great,” a comedy-drama series loosely based on the aristocrat’s rise to power as the longest-serving empress in Russian history. Prior to that, Fanning featured in “20th Century Women” and “Live by Night,” the Ben Affleck crime drama adapted from the Dennis Lehane novel of the same name.