Can Natalie Portman get screenwriter Noah Oppenheim‘s “Jackie” moving again? The Jackie Onassis project certainly hasn’t been lacking in top-tier talent trying to bring it to life. Way back in 2010, it was reported that Steven Spielberg was shopping the film as something he would produce, with HBO considering it, but that never came to pass. Then not long after Darren Aronofsky and Rachel Weisz attached themselves as director and star for the film as he was in post on “Black Swan.” But their relationship dissolved, as did that incarnation of the movie, with both of them moving on, but now one of the stars of the ballet thriller might take a crack at it.
Deadline reports that Fox Searchlight is reaching out to Natalie Portman to take the lead role of Jackie Kennedy in the movie. And it’s certainly a promising part. The script follows Jackie during the four days between her husband’s infamous assassination and his burial, providing a new perspective to the story, showing the First Lady at her most vulnerable and graceful. But it’s also about so much more. In our examination of the script, the plot also sees Jackie caught up in the wrangling between the Kennedy camp and Lyndon Johnson’s crew, led by Jack Valenti (who later head the MPAA), who are keen to demonstrate continuity and leadership by moving into the White House as soon as possible. And ultimately we found the script quite moving, showing Jackie’s quiet resolve in heroism in the face of national and personal tragedy.
Whether or Portman takes the role seems to be hinging on who will be directing. Maybe she’ll woo Aronofsky back to the fold? We wouldn’t complain about that. But if Portman passes, we do have one other suggestion for the lead: Julia Louis-Dreyfuss.