Natalie Portman Joins Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan Project
by Alex Billington
June 15, 2009
It's looking like the next movie from Darren Aronofsky won't necessarily be RoboCop. THR announced tonight that Natalie Portman has been cast as the lead in Black Swan, a ballet project that Aronofsky has been attached with for a few years. It was originally setup at Universal but has been recently making the rounds at other studios since it never get off the ground there. The script for this was originally written by John McLaughlin, who wrote Man of the House in 2005 and has been working on a Splinter Cell script. Mark Heyman, a development exec at Aronofsky's Protozoa Pictures, did a rewrite of that draft recently.
Black Swan centers on a veteran ballerina (to be played by Natalie Portman) who finds herself locked in a competitive situation with a rival dancer, with the stakes and twists increasing as the dancers approach a big performance. But it's unclear whether the rival is a supernatural apparition or if the protagonist is simply having delusions. Word is that it's a "spine-tingler" with elements of The Others, the 2001 Nicole Kidman thriller. At first glance, this doesn't seem like that great of a story, but with Aronofsky directing, I think we can expect great things. He always does something different each time and that's definitely the case here.
As for an update on RoboCop, THR says that if a studio or financer picks up Black Swan, they could begin shooting this year. Aronofsky has not committed to any other projects yet, but they also remind us that "he has been developing the RoboCop reboot at MGM." Last week io9 reported that RoboCop was being called a 2011 project by MGM, which makes me feel like Aronofsky is pushing for this instead. I really hope it gets picked up - seeing Aronofsky and Portman work together would be a dream come true for me! Thoughts?