PHILLY IS ABOUT to get a visit from Dakota.

Dakota Fanning has been cast as one of the leads in "Franny," the Richard Gere-starring movie set to film in Philadelphia next month.

Joining Fanning, who has been successfully shedding her kiddie-actor image, is up-and-comer Theo James, the star of is-it-the-next-Hunger-Games? franchise, "Divergent." James is best known for playing Kemal Pamuk, the Turk who met a not-so-nice end in Lady Mary's bed on the first season of "Downton Abbey."

Fanning will play Olivia, and James plays Luke, a young couple with whom Gere's character desperately attempts to ingratiate himself.

* In other movie news, the Philly-shot "McCannick," the last film for "Glee" star Cory Monteith, will have its U.S. premiere at the Philadelphia Film Festival, which runs Oct. 17 to 27. Jason Osder's "Let the Fire Burn," about the MOVE bombings, will have its local premiere at the fest.

Joyce, Hessedal to Fox 29

Two familiar faces have joined Fox 29 as freelancers.

Jennifer Joyce posted on her Facebook page yesterday: "Friends, I've moved! I'm excited to say I've joined a great team at Fox29. I look forward to keeping in touch with all of you!! Thanks for your continued support. xo Jennifer."

Before Fox, Joyce, a Temple grad, was over at 6ABC and before that at the CBS affiliate in Harrisburg.

In other Fox news, Kelly Hessedal, formerly a freelancer at CBS3, has been working as a freelancer at Fox all month. Before working at CBS3, Hessedal was at the Fox affiliate in Arizona.

Quick honors

Silver Linings Playbook author, and La Salle alum, Matthew Quick received an honorary degree from his alma mater yesterday. Today, he'll host a private reading of his new book, Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock, and do a Q&A with students and faculty.

Quick has another movie deal on the horizon. His yet-unpublished novel, Love May Fail, was just optioned for a big-screen adaptation by Sony. The book, about a woman who returns to her hometown to reunite with a beloved English teacher, is set for a summer 2015 publication.

A Quizzo win

Congrats to Jonas and Susan, regulars at Johnny Goodtimes' Tuesday night Quizzo stand at O'Neals (611 S. 3rd St.), who got engaged in a trivial manner. Jonas Yoder proposed to Susan Arnold with a round of trivia with the answers reading out, "Without you, life would be a mistake. Will you marry me?" This is the third proposal that has occurred at Goodtimes' Quizzo nights. To see the questions Jonas used, go to


Patti LaBelle dined on lobster at the Legal Sea Foods in King of Prussia (680 W. Dekalb Pike). The Wynnewood-based diva happily posed for photos with her waitress.

Metallica bassist Robert Trujillo stopped by AMC Franklin Mills on Friday (at 12:01 a.m., to be exact) to introduce his band's new concert film, "Metallica: Through the Never." The 3-D Imax flick is in theaters now.

* BEN-FM DJ Marilyn Russell celebrated her Sept. 29 birthday at Eviama Life Green Spa and Boutique (109 S. 13th St.). Owner Penny Ordway helped Russell celebrate her b-day with a surprise cake.

Spartan style

Congrats to the Daily News' Chris Brennan, Michelle Bjork, Stephanie Farr, David Preston, William Bender, Barbara Laker, Helen Ubiñas, Albert Stumm, yours truly and alumni George Miller and Yvonne Latty for completing the Spartan Race obstacle course at Citizens Bank Park on Saturday. The Daily News Muckrakers all finished, with only five stitches required.

See? Print media ain't dead yet.

On Twitter: @PhillyGossipDN