Once upon a time it used to be that winning the Oscar statue itself would ensure two years of every high-profile role in your gender bracket being offered to you first. However, in the case of Natalie Portman, it’s the pre-Oscar buzz that is giving her the same kind of effect.
Her performance in Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan is that strong and has mutually impressed every studio in town to such a degree that she has seen offers come her way in the past month for Ridley Scott’s Alien prequel, Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity and now she’s up for an unspecified role in The Dark Knight Rises - i.e. the three highest profile female gigs going.
But that’s not all, the deafening Oscar buzz has now given Portman, who has always had ambitions to get involved behind the camera, the confidence to shop her own pitch around town. Titled BYO (which supposedly translates as Bring Your Own – and yes it’s kind of an awkward title) Portman has wrote a raunchy comedy with her old college pal Laura Moses, a former assistant to Doug Liman.
Described as the female version of Superbad – the movie follows two twentysomethings who throw a party where each female invitee has to bring an eligible man with them. It’s like Dinner For Schmucks if the Schmucks were not Schmucks but hot guys.
Portman is hoping to star and produce and her The Dark Knight Rises rival Anne Hatahway is interested in the second lead role. A formidable female A-list comedy duo and despite a few studio’s turning Portman’s pitch down (which seems crazy given how in-demand she is, and with Hathaway’s interest) we can’t imagine it’ll be long until a studio picks this one up, and if it’s ready to go it could be made quickly.
No director is being muted yet but one might think Doug Liman (Mr. and Mrs Smith, Swingers) would be favourite given his past relationship with Moses and the fact he has a free schedule after struggling to get a pitch for The Three Musketeers off the ground given the rival project from Paul W.S. Anderson.