Natalie Portman in Thor

Between her sharp intellect and proactive attitude, Natalie Portman‘s foray into directing always seemed more like a question of “when,” rather than “if.” And indeed, back in 2007, she began prepping her first feature, based on the memoir A Tale of Love and Darkness by Israeli writer Amos Oz.

The project got pushed to the back burner while Portman honed her skills on short films like “Eve” and her¬†New York I Love You segment, but now it seems she’s ready to get the ball rolling again.¬†According to Oz, Portman is looking to visit Israel this fall to get ready, so that shooting can get underway early next year. Hit the jump for all the details.

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Natalie Portman to Direct

I knew that one day she would become a powerful producer and possibly even a director. But who thought that day would come so soon? This morning it was announced that Portman has signed a two-year deal with Participant Productions and is set to make her feature film debut as a DIRECTOR. That’s right, Natalie is going to direct a film based on bestselling memoir A Tale of Love and Darkness, by Israeli writer, novelist, journalist, and professor of literature Amos Oz.

The book description reads:

Tragic, comic, and utterly honest, this bestselling and critically acclaimed new work by “one of Israel’s most gifted and prolific authors” (Helen Epstein, The Forward) is at once a family saga and a magical self-portrait of a writer who witnessed the birth of a nation and lived through its turbulent history.

It is the story of a boy growing up in the war-torn Jerusalem of the forties and fifties, in a small apartment crowded with books in twelve languages and relatives speaking nearly as many. The story of an adolescent whose life has been changed forever by his mother’s suicide when he was twelve years old. The story of a man who leaves the constraints of his family and its community of dreamers, scholars, and failed businessmen to join a kibbutz, change his name, marry, have children. The story of a writer who becomes an active participant in the political life of his nation.

Naomi Foner (Running on Empty) in talks to adapt the screenplay.

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