dqDakota Fanning has received new programming. Her instructions now: do the voice of the lead character in Henry Selick’s adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s Coraline.

Fanning, who is on the cusp of being too old for Dave Davis, will be a girl who discovers a hidden door in her house that leads to an alternate reality just like this one – but better. She has some adventures there, but things get sticky when her alternate parents want to keep her forever. Obviously the synopsis I have read is incomplete, since being stuck in a world just like this one, but better, doesn’t really sound like all that terrible a fate.

Fanning is the child star of the moment, having just screamed her head off in this summer’s War of the Worlds (I was looking back at my review of that, and man do I hope that film holds up on DVD), and appearing this weekend riding Kurt Russell and a horse in Dreamer. She’ll soon be seen making friends with pre-bacon in Charlotte’s Web.

Henry Selick is, of course, the guy who animated The Nightmare Before Christmas and James and the Giant Peach. Coraline is in pre-production at a Portland animation studio.