Fanning will star in an eight-episode series based on the true story of Carter who was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the death of her boyfriend Conrad Roy III.
The pair met in 2012 and built a relationship over the next two years through thousands of text messages before Roy, who had depression during that time, died by suicide in July 2014.
It was revealed that in the time leading up to his death, Carter had urged Roy to take his own life, including offering advice on methodology.
The forthcoming Hulu series – titled The Girl From Plainville – is based on an Esquire article of the same name, which detailed the events leading up to Roy’s death and Carter’s conviction.
After the first photos from the series were released today (20 January), viewers have commented on how similar Fanning looks to Carter.
“I honestly couldn’t see how that was Elle Fanning,” wrote one person. “They made her look EXACTLY like Michelle Carter. It’s like seeing doubles.”
Another added: “OK I didn’t really want to see this story amplified any more, but I gotta say it is *uncanny* how much Elle Fanning looks like Michelle Carter. Spooky!”
First look at Elle Fanning in ‘The Girl From Plainville,’ the eight-episode Hulu limited series inspired by the shocking true story of Michelle Carter's unprecedented "texting-suicide" case that ignited a media firestorm.
(via Entertainment Weekly) pic.twitter.com/VdEvhJvrEv
— Film Updates (@FilmUpdates) January 20, 2022
preview of elle fanning as Michelle Carter in 'Girl From Plainville' pic.twitter.com/7jfMDmu5jI
— 💌🍓 (@ellesthinker) January 20, 2022
“Wow elle fanning looks a lot like michelle carter (woman who infamously texted her boyfriend to kill himself) in hulu’s ‘the girl from plainville,’” wrote journalist Marlow Stern.
“Hulu has been KILLING IT with their makeup transformations. Lily James as Pam Anderson? Nailed it? Sebastian Stan as Tommy Lee? Nailed it. Now Elle Fanning as Michelle Carter? Wow. I’m actually impressed,” said someone else.
Hulu is also behind the forthcoming series Pam and Tommy, which stars Lily James and Sebastian Stan as the titular couple.
I honestly couldn’t see how that was Elle Fanning. They made her look EXACTLY like Michelle Carter. It’s like seeing doubles
— Brendon Smith🏳️🌈 (@bigdogXVI) January 20, 2022
Hulu has been KILLING IT with their makeup transformations. Lily James as Pam Anderson? nailed it. Sebastian Stan as Tommy Lee? nailed it. now Elle Fanning as Michelle Carter? wow. I’m actually impressed.
— corr (@forevercorr) January 20, 2022
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, the team behind The Girl From Plainville said that Fanning’s transformation required “light makeup” and a “small forehead prosthetic” to move the actor’s hairline further back.
The story of Carter and Roy was the subject of an HBO docuseries in 2019 titled I Love You, Now Die: The Commonwealth v Michelle Carter.
In January 2020, Carter was released from Bristol County jail in Dartmouth, after serving 12 months of a 15-month sentence.
She was released on good behaviour, officials said, and will serve five years of probation from the time of her release.
In addition to starring as Carter, Fanning serves as an executive producer on The Girl From Plainville. The series will be released on Hulu this spring.
If you are experiencing feelings of distress and isolation, or are struggling to cope, the Samaritans offers support; you can speak to someone for free over the phone, in confidence, on 116 123 (UK and ROI), email email@example.com, or visit the Samaritans website to find details of your nearest branch.
If you are based in the USA, and you or someone you know needs mental health assistance right now, call National Suicide Prevention Helpline on 1-800-273-TALK (8255). The Helpline is a free, confidential crisis hotline that is available to everyone 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
If you are in another country, you can go to www.befrienders.org to find a helpline near you.