Kristen Stewart is set to star as iconic feminist writer Susan Sontag in a biopic

A black-and-white split-screen image with a younger woman on the left and an older woman on the right.
Kristen Stewart, left, has been cast as influential writer Susan Sontag in an upcoming biopic.
(Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times, left; Schiffer-Fuchs / Getty Images, right)

Alert the literati — Susan Sontag is getting a biopic and Kristen Stewart is set to play the late writer-provocateur.

Stewart, who is no stranger to portraying influential women, has been cast in “Sontag” as the queer feminist icon, a celebrity intellectual of the highest regard, famous for her cultural essays including “Notes on ‘Camp’” and novels such as “Death Kit” and “In America.”

The drama will be directed by documentarian Kirsten Johnson, based on the biography “Sontag: Her Life and Work” by Ben Moser. It will be adapted for the screen by Johnson and Lisa Kron and is set to begin filming at the Berlin Film Festival, where Stewart is jury president.


The feature won’t be your typical biopic, though. The producer of the project, Gabrielle Tana, has shared with Screen Daily that “Sontag” will have a meta spin, with documentary footage of Stewart preparing to portray Sontag woven into the film.

Kristen Stewart felt Princess Diana’s presence while making “Spencer,” a role that made her feel “taller than I’ve ever felt.”

Sept. 7, 2021

“We’re using Berlin as a moment to kick off the project and do documentary footage of Kristen as the head of the jury and talking to her about how she’s going to become Sontag,” Tana, who co-founded Brouhaha Entertainment in 2021, told the outlet. “It will be a drama, but with a documentary aspect to it. Kirsten has a wonderful approach to storytelling, and this is reflective of that, so she will use documentary in it.”

Naturally the literary community and Kristen Stewart stans are echoing each other’s excitement over the pairing.

“Fine, we’ll see a biopic.” tweeted @Lithub, linking to news of the biopic.

A self-described “besotted aesthete” and “obsessed moralist,” she sought to challenge conventional thinking. She was 71.

Dec. 28, 2004

Vox writer and critic Alissa Wilkinson tweeted, “Did I . . . manifest this” along with the Screen Daily article that first shared the news.

And future of cinema professor Kevin B. Lee quote tweeted the news, saying, “Kristen Stewart as Susan Sontag, from the director of my favorite documentary of the last 10 years. Mind blown 3x over”