Gwyneth Paltrow and her mother, Blythe Danner, who is also an actress, are poised to act in a film together for the first time. Paltrow will play the poet Sylvia Plath, who committed suicide at the age of 31, while Danner is on the verge of taking the role of Plath's mother.
The mirroring of the real-life mother and daughter relationship on screen is seen as dream casting by BBC Films, which is part-funding the £7m movie about Plath's marriage to the late poet laureate, Ted Hughes.
BBC Films has confirmed that Paltrow will play Plath, but has given no further details. Danner is understood to have been approached and is keen to play Plath's mother, Aurelia.
The producers have not found anyone to play Hughes yet. One possibility may be Colin Firth, who starred in the BBC's adaptation of Pride and Prejudice as Mr Darcy.
The marriage of Hughes and Plath in 1956 and Plath's suicide seven years later have fascinated literature students and feminists and Hughes was a target of feminist anger for years.He died in 1998, aged 68.
The BBC's David Thompson said of Paltrow's casting: "She is very intelligent andabsolutely right for Plath's fragility and vulnerability."