Elle Fanning Transforms into Michelle Carter for Hulu’s The Girl from Plainville

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Hulu is bringing a dramatized adaptation of the Michelle Carter “texting suicide” case to the screen.

The Girl from Plainville is set to premiere on the streamer this spring, starring Elle Fanning as Carter—the teen who encouraged her boyfriend, Conrad Roy III, to end his life via text. She was convicted for involuntary manslaughter in 2017 and the trial gained national interest, raising questions and discussions about free speech and mental health.

Carter’s case has been brought to TV before; HBO released the two-part documentary I Love You, Now Die: The Commonwealth v. Michelle Carter in 2019, and Lifetime made its own television movie starring Bella Thorne in 2018. Still, The Girl from Plainville showrunners Liz Hannah and Patrick Macmanus, and Fanning, who is also an executive producer, wanted to approach the topic sensitively.

Fanning “did not want this to feel sensational,” Macmanus told Entertainment Weekly. “She wanted it to be an honest portrayal of not just these families and what they went through, but from what people are going through in general on a day-to-day basis when it comes to their mental health.”

Here’s what we know about the true crime series, which was adapted from the 2017 Esquire article of the same name.

When will it premiere?

So far, all we know is that the series is due this spring. The exact release date is TBA.

Who is Michelle Carter?

Carter, who is from Plainville, MA, was 17 years old when her boyfriend, Conrad Roy III, was found dead in Fairhaven, MA in 2014. The couple had met two years earlier in Florida, so their relationship was mostly comprised of communication via phone, email, and text. They only saw each other in person five times.

Carter was indicted on charges of involuntary manslaughter seven months after Roy’s death. The investigation and trial brought to light many of Carter and Roy’s text conversations, including messages where she urged him to kill himself and even sent specific instructions.

In 2017, Carter was found guilty. Judge Lawrence Moniz, who announced her conviction, said Carter “did nothing” to prevent Roy’s death by suicide. Her “actions and failure to act” in the situation ultimately caused Roy’s death, the court ruled, per CNN.

She was sentenced to 15 months in prison but was released in 2020, after less than a year in jail. Carter, who was 23 at the time, was let out on “good behavior,” NBC Boston reported, and she is currently serving five years on probation.

You can read more about the case below.

Who else is in the series?

Colton Ryan (“Dear Evan Hansen”) will play Michelle’s boyfriend Conrad “Coco” Roy III. Chloë Sevigny will play Conrad’s mother, Lynn Roy, while Norbert Leo Butz (Bloodline) will play his father, Conrad “Co” Roy II.

Cara Buono (Stranger Things) and Kai Lennox (Beginners) will play Michelle’s parents, Gail and David Carter.

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