Darren Aronofsky Wants a ‘Black Swan’ Musical to Happen: ‘We’re Working on It’

"I would love to and I’ve talked to many people about it. And I’ve come close to a few ideas," Aronofsky said of bringing his 2010 classic to the stage — or screen again — in musical form.
BLACK SWAN, Natalie Portman, 2010, TM and copyright ©Fox Searchlight Pictures. All rights reserved./Courtesy Everett Collection
"Black Swan"
©Fox Searchlight/Courtesy Everett Collection

Darren Aronofsky might see a little of himself in ballerina Nina Sayers when it comes to perfectionism.

That may be why, 12 years after his cult classic “Black Swan” first thrilled and chilled audiences, he still hasn’t made a musical version of the movie happen. It would seem like an inevitability given the Tchaikovsky source material and the film’s grand theatrics, costuming, and over-the-top characters. Still, as “The Whale” director revealed to The AV Club in a recent interview, he’s working on it.

“We’re trying to do the ‘Black Swan’ musical,” the Oscar-nominated filmmaker said. When asked if it would be on Broadway, he said, “We’ll see what happens. But we’re working on it.”

As for whether or not the “Black Swan” musical would be a movie musical, Aronofsky said it’s tricky: “I would love to and I’ve talked to many people about it. And I’ve come close to a few ideas. It’s a very tricky thing because music from musicals is not popular music anymore. So what do you do? I think Hamilton was brilliant because Lin-Manuel Miranda fused hip-hop with musical music. And so he had this breakthrough that was really brilliant. But figuring that angle of it, of what the music would be, where it comes from, is the big challenge. But I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about it. And hopefully one day I could figure something out.”

“Black Swan” was nominated for five Academy Awards including Best Picture, winning Best Actress for Natalie Portman’s emotionally charged turn as Nina. The movie grossed nearly $330 million at the global box office, making the film his biggest success only to “Noah” internationally. His A24 film “The Whale” is already a minor indie hit with $360,000 in receipts after an opening weekend in limited release.

“Black Swan,” meanwhile, isn’t the only project for which the “mother!” and “The Fountain” director is nostalgic these days. Aronofsky recently told IndieWire that he hopes to re-release his black-and-white debut feature “Pi” in IMAX in early 2023.

“When I sold the film at Sundance in 1998, I fought really hard that the filmmakers would get the movie back,” he said. “They didn’t really want to do it and they were like, ‘Fine, we’ll give it back to you in 25 years.’ So that’s about to happen and we’ve been actually scanning the negative at 8k, and we are working on an ATMOS mix and polishing it up, and we’re planning to do an IMAX release on March 14, for the movie.”

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