The Nightingale is set to be released on December 22, 2021. Directed by Mélanie Laurent, it is based on a novel of the same name and stars Dakota Fanning and Elle Fanning as sisters during World War II, working to survive the German occupation in France. Elizabeth Cantillon served as the produced, the screenplay was by Dana Stevens, and The Nightingale will be distributed by Sony Pictures Releasing.

The book, which came out in 2015, was written by Kristin Hannah and inspired by the real-life story of Andrée de Jongh; throughout the war, this 24-year-old Belgian woman helped 118 Allied pilots escape the Nazis. At one point, she was captured and sent to a concentration camp, but after the war, she became a countess, before passing away in 2007. The drama ended up on a couple of best-selling lists, including NPR’s Hardcover Fiction Bestseller List and the New York Times’ bestseller list.

In the upcoming flick, Dakota Fanning will portray Vianne Mauriac, and her younger sister, Elle, will portray Isabelle Rossignol, whose tale is similar to de Jongh’s. The Fanning sisters are not strangers to roles in dramatic films, as Dakota was in War of the Worlds in 2005, and Elle was in Super 8 in 2011. Dakota is also known for appearing in Uptown Girls, The Twilight Saga and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, to name a few, while Elle played Princess Aurora in Maleficent and its sequel, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, and plays Catherine the Great in The Great on Hulu.

Previously, both of these actresses appeared in I Am Sam together, when Elle Fanning played the younger version of Dakota’s character, Lucy Diamond Dawson, in 2001. This will be the first time they act on-screen together, though.

Laurent, the director of The Nightingale, has also been seen on the big screen in works such as Now You See Me and Inglourious Basterds, and Elle worked with her on Galveston in 2018, a film that marked Laurent’s directorial debut.

The novel was first acquired back in 2015, by TriStar Pictures. In 2017, after filming took place in Budapest, Hungary and Los Angeles, California, the film was set to come out on August 10, 2018. In 2020, that date was pushed back again, and during the COVID-19 pandemic, the project was taken off the release calendar completely. In April 2020, though, TriStar announced that The Nightingale would be coming out at the end of this year.  

The sisters in this story are separated, captured, abused and persecuted. They must deal with everything from dwindling food supplies and the loss of a job to being hunted down by the Nazis. Their emotional adventures make for a moving and inspiring book and movie … a movie that was made possible by a great deal of talent behind and in front of the camera. 

While the release date has been pushed back numerous times, in the midst of a pandemic, fans can now mark their calendars for three days before Christmas, when The Nightingale will finally be put out by Sony Pictures Releasing.