Sarah Paulson and Elle Fanning have been attached to a new film project based on the controversial true story of Sybil, a woman who suffered from dissociative identity disorder.
Sybil, a pseudonym for Shirley Ardell Mason, became a cultural phenomenon with the publication of a 1973 book, Sybil, on her experience with multiple personality disorder. The book, written by Flora Rheta Schreiber, centered on Mason's treatment by psychologist Connie Wilbur, and has since had its accuracy disputed.
I Am Sybil will instead draw from Debbie Nathan’s 2011 New York Times bestseller Sybil Exposed: The Extraordinary Story Behind the Famous Multiple Personality Case.
Out actor and LGBTQ+ advocate Sarah Paulson is rumored to be playing Wilbur, while Fanning will take on the title role as Sybil/Shirley Mason, sources told Deadline. The project is being helmed by Australian director and actor Mirrah Foulkes, whose debut feature Judy and Punch was released in 2019.
Paulson recently starred in Ryan Murphy's thriller series Ratched, and is also known for her roles in American Horror Story, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, and 12 Years a Slave. In 2016, she won a Golden Globe Award and a Primetime Emmy for her performance in FX's The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story.
Fanning is currently starring opposite Nicholas Hoult in the acclaimed historical comedy series The Great, which returned for its third season in May. She has appeared in numerous films, including The Neon Demon, 20th Century Women, and Sofia Coppola's queer drama The Beguiled.
The "Sybil" story has been adapted twice before. The 1976 TV movie version starring Sally Field earned four Emmys.
We will have more information about I Am Sybil as it becomes available.