Jena Malone will play author Carson McCullers in “Lonely Hunter”

Carson McCullers is a literary icon, an author whose work was important for many reasons, but largely because she was a great storyteller about the South. Her novels, short stories and plays have inspired many of today’s contemporary writers, and she was also the inspiration for a play about her that Suzanne Vega put on in New York this past year.

Now she’ll be immortalized on screen by Jena Malone in the biopic Lonely Hunter.

Deborah Kampmeier, who was behind Virgin and Hound Dog, will be directing and producing the film which was written by lesbian activist, professor and writer Sarah Schulman (The Owls). Sarah’s description of the film is as follows

The story of Carson McCullers — 1940′s southern author of Heart Is A Lonely Hunter and Member of the Wedding — and her two tumultuous marriages to the same man. Best friend of Tennessee Williams, mentor of Truman Capote, roommate of Gypsy Rose Lee, collaborator with Ethel Waters, she was a wild woman who transgressed gender laws and the color bar searching to understand her own mysterious passions.

Despite being married to a man, Carson was involved with women and was bisexual. Her style was androgynous, as she preferred menswear and keeping her hair above her chin. Jena Malone is a superb choice to play her, though it will be interesting to see her transform throughout the film as it is said to “span 35 years of McCullers’ life and show how her writing helped her cope with crippling illness and torrid marriages.”

Jena is also in the upcoming lesbian werewolf flick Jack & Diane and won an Indie Spirit Award for her role in Bastard Out of Carolina. In a press release, Kampmeier said of the actress:

Jena’s vulnerability, curiosity, and passion are perfect for Carson. She is extremely gifted and I’m thrilled to be working with Jena in what I’m sure will be a very creative and exciting process.

With Schulman at the helm, I’m certain Carson’s lesbian relationships will be featured in the film, and I can’t wait to see Jena in Carson’s famous slacks and button-ups.

What do you think of the casting choice?

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