At long last, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the second female justice and a legendary advocate for women’s rights, is getting her own movie – and what’s more, Oscar winner Natalie Portman has signed on to play her. On the Basis of Sex, which The Diary of a Teenage Girl director Marielle Heller is angling to come aboard, will follow Ginsburg throughout her illustrious career, as she battled for equal rights and rose through the ranks of the American justice system.
Daniel Stiepleman penned the script, which made the 2014 Black List, and it’s no small wonder that the scribe found enough material to craft a great story. By the time that Ginsburg was appointed to the Supreme Court in 1993, she had served as a law professor at Rutgers and later Columbia, campaigning for women’s rights and arguing landmark cases including Reed v. Reed, Frontiero v. Richardson and Weinberger v. Wiesenfeld. Her work directly contributed to the end of gender discrimination in many areas, and as Chief Justice Antonin Scalia noted in his characteristically irascible remarks to Time Magazine, which this year dubbed Ginsburg an Icon in its Time 100 ranking of the world’s most influential people, that legal career alone would have qualified her for the list.
However, Ginsburg has also set herself apart while serving as a Supreme Court Justice, loudly lobbying for women’s rights and supporting abortion rights and other matters of sexual equality. She continues to serve on the Supreme Court today, with no plans to retire.
On the Basis of Sex is being eyed as a potential awards contender, and Focus Features is pushing to get the pic moving before year’s end, so that Portman can play Ginsburg before she stars in Alex Garland’s Ex Machina follow-up Annihilation. The Black Swan actress is tremendously talented, and it will be a thrill to watch her take on a living legend, though honestly what all of us really wish we could see on screen is whatever meetings Portman and Ginsburg will now set up so that the actress can get as accurate a read on her character as possible. Given how outspoken and strong-willed Ginsburg has shown herself to be, we can only imagine how interesting those conversations are going to be.