I hereby dub May the month of Natalie Portman. More than any other star, the Black Swan actress has been spreading her wings this month, lining up promising pic after promising pic as she prepares to unveil directorial debut A Tale of Love and Darkness out of competition at Cannes. Now, Portman has signed on to play embattled First Lady Jackie Kennedy in Jackie, a biopic from No director Pablo Larrain.
The film will take place in the four days immediately following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, with Jackie attempting to avoid the overwhelming advances of the press while enduring her own grief and caring for her children.
This one has been gestating for a long time – a Noah Oppenheimer-penned draft of the project made its way to Portman three years ago, when she was reportedly circling the lead role but unable to commit until she knew who was directing. Steven Spielberg had been tinkering with it beforehand without signing on, and Darren Aronofsky was in the mix at one point but took himself out of the equation to make Biblical epic Noah.
Now, with Larrain behind the camera, and Aronfosky producing, Portman evidently felt gung-ho about the pic to make it a priority. Larrain is shooting Neruda in June but is expected to launch headfirst into production on Jackie right after. That puts Jackie ahead of French ghost story Planetarium, Ruth Bader Ginsburg biopic On the Basis of Sex and Alex Garland-directed sci-fi thriller Annihilation, all of which Portman has become attached to within the past week.
Add in that A Tale of Love and Darkness is being revealed to audiences today, and it becomes clear that Portman, after a considerable absence from the big screen (her last big role was in 2013’s Thor: The Dark World), is making a dramatic comeback for the ages. Expect to hear more on Jackie as studios plot their awards contenders for the 2016 race.