Natalie Portman’s Most Twisted Movie Is Becoming A Musical
Mad genius Darren Aronofsky is working on bringing Natalie Portman’s twisted ballerina thriller, Black Swan, to Broadway. In an interview with The A.V. Club, the film’s director discussed how “we’re trying to do a Black Swan musical,” which sounds a little crazy on the surface, but given that the film is about a production of Swan Lake, musical theater is already baked into the setting. Still, the Harvard educated director has made a career out of filming inventive, surreal films, so if anyone could make it happen, perhaps the twisted mind behind Requiem for a Dream can do it.
Aronofsky discussed with The A.V. Club one of the problems of working on a musical, “It’s a very tricky thing because music from musicals is not popular music anymore.” to combat that problem, the director brought up the most successful musical of the past decade, “I think Hamilton was brilliant because Lin-Manuel Miranda fused hip-hop with musical music.” It’s hard to imagine Natalie Portman or Mila Kunis dancing in Black Swan to a hip-hop number, but then again, the man working on this project did release mother! into theaters across the country, so anything could happen.
The film, following Natalie Portman as ballerina Nina Sayers, starts out fairly normal for films in the genre, including a retiring lead dancer, an open spot at the top of the company, and a lewd director. Once Nina meets Lily, played by Mila Kunis, she starts having dramatic hallucinations, believing that Lily is out to take her role as the principal dancer. What starts normal becomes a dark and twisted film where the audience is left wondering what is real, and what only exists in Nina’s mind.
Natalie Portman received the 2011 Oscar for Best Actress due to her role as Nina, but the awards did not stop there, as Black Swan went on to win Best Picture. Aronofsky won for Best Director, while Best Editing and Best Cinematography also went to the film, with other organizations around the world showering praise on the cast and crew. Mila Kunis also picked up a few Best Supporting Actress nominations for her role as Lily, as that year was dominated by Black Swan.
Since Natalie Portman starred in Black Swan, her career entered a new phase, putting her on top of Forbes 2012 list of Most Bankable Stars, followed by a return to the MCU in Thor: The Dark World. Expanding her range, Portman starred in Annihilation, a female-led hard science-fiction film based on the novel by Jeff VanderMeer, before going into producing with her company, MountainA. Earlier this year, the Harvard-educated actress reprised her role as Jane Foster in Thor: Love and Thunder, finally becoming a superhero in her own right.
After directing Natalie Portman in Black Swan, Darren Aronofsky went on to direct Russel Crowe in Noah, Jennifer Lawrence in mother!, and most recently, Brendan Fraser in The Whale. While Aronofsky is no one’s idea of a musical maestro, few directors can boast of a filmography as distinctive, strange, and successful as his, giving the director the benefit of the doubt. Psychological thriller Broadway productions are exceedingly rare, but then again, all it takes is just one production to re-invent an entire genre.