Jennifer Lawrence and Kristen Stewart battling for lead in William Styron adaptation

Hollywood?s hottest young actresses, Kristen Stewart and Jennifer Lawrence, are desperately vying for the same role in an indie film that?s a stark departure from their ?Twilight? and ?Hunger Games? franchises.

?Darkness? follows a psychologically vulnerable young woman who?s preyed upon by her father in 1950s Virginia. ?Crazy Heart? wunderkind Scott Cooper is directing the movie, which won?t begin production till next year because Cooper is currently busy with Christian Bale and Zoe Saldana in a thriller, ?Out of the Furnace.?

But sources say Stewart and Lawrence see the role as a chance for an Oscar.

?I want to play Peyton more than anything I can possibly taste or touch in my life. I want to play her so bad,? Stewart says in the June issue of Elle magazine. ?They?re the most [bleeped]-up family. There?s a script adaptation . . . and it?s good. Two people vying for the part [of the father] are Daniel Day-Lewis and Colin Firth. Daniel would be perfect.?

Lawrence, meanwhile, told W, ?I am obsessed with that part. I have this feeling of protectiveness over characters I want to play . . . If someone else gets the part, I?m afraid they won?t do it right. I?m trying to write the director . . . to convince him that I should be in his movie. I?ll chase him if I have to. I?ll sit outside his house.?

A source said the actresses? agents have been taken aback by their dramatic public plays for the role. But, ?It?s an independent movie, and they see it as a career-making role, like Meryl Streep in ?Sophie?s Choice,? ? the source added.