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Natalie Portman to star in astronaut drama Pale Blue Dot

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Joseph Baxter

Jan 12, 2018

Pale Blue Dot will have Natalie Portman play an astronaut who’s dealing with odd after-effects from her time in space.

The developing drama, Pale Blue Dot, appears to be putting an outer space spin on post-traumatic stress disorder, this time as experienced by a female astronaut, rather than armed service personnel. The project, which had originally tapped Reese Witherspoon as its star, is, instead, looking at a headliner in Natalie Portman, who’s logged plenty of space time in the Star Wars prequel trilogy.

Portman is in talks with Fox Searchlight to nab the lead role in Pale Blue Dot, reports Variety. Should the deal be finalised, she’ll play a successful astronaut who returns home – presumably to fantastic fanfare – only to experience a bizarre change in personality; perhaps the result of a very real phenomenon that occurs after a person is stuck in space for long periods of time.

The plot of the film – based on a real-life headline-making love triangle of astronauts that lead to a 2007 kidnapping incident – will also contain elements of romantic intrigue, since the married protagonist will engage in an affair with an astronaut colleague.

Relevantly, the title Pale Blue Dot refers to the famous 1990 photograph of Earth taken from the Voyager 1 space probe at 6 billion km, in which our grand terrestrial turf appears as an insignificant blue dot on a strip of brown.

Pale Blue Dot will see Noah Hawley, known from his work on the Coen Brothers movie-inspired Fargo and the X-Men-adjacent Legion, assume the director’s chair, set to work off a script by Brian C. Brown and Elliott DiGuiseppi. Besides his soon-to-wrap work on the upcoming second season of Legion, Hawley recently revealed that the Comic-Con-announced Marvel movie project centered on supervillain Doctor Doom is still a standing entry on his backlog. Once Portman is procured, Searchlight and Hawley will begin the casting process for a male co-star.

For Portman, who is coming off recent film efforts such as the Oscar-nominated 2016 Jackie Kennedy biopic, Jackie, 2016 fantasy film, Planetarium and 2017 musically-inclined romance drama, Song To Song, Pale Blue Dot could see her channeling a similar descent into madness akin to her performance in 2010’s Black Swan. She’ll next appear in director Alex Garland’s Annihilation.

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