First Look: Natalie Portman As Jackie Kennedy

Jackie, featuring Natalie Portman as first lady Jacqueline Kennedy

Protozoa Pictures has released the first photo of Natalie Portman in Jackie, a film about first lady Jacqueline Kennedy who fights to define her husband President John F. Kennedy’s, legacy in the seven days immediately following his assassination. Hit the jump to see the full Natalie Portman Jackie Kennedy photo.

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Noah featurette

Paramount’s Noah has come under fire from certain religious leaders, but the movie has its religious fans, too. Several of them have stepped up to defend Darren Aronofsky‘s Bible-based epic in a new featurette crafted by Christian media speaker Phil Cooke, praising it as a “powerful,” “profound,” “pro-faith and pro-God” work.

Even if you’re not particularly religious, the video is well worth checking out. Screenwriter Ari Handel and Noah biblical advisor John Snowden offer their insights into the making of the movie, while various Christian leaders discuss some of the major themes of the story. Check out the Noah featurette, and learn how it came to be, after the jump.

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Don’t let anyone tell you science fiction isn’t the latest trend sweeping Hollywood. It might take a few years to really take hold but films like this year’s Oblivion, After Earth, Gravity and Ender’s Game have studio executives prepping for a whole new wave of sci-fi projects. Universal picked up a new one earlier today and now Paramount has the latest. It’s a novel called Nexus by Ramez Naam and it’ll be produced by Mary Parent through Disruption and Darren Aronofsky via Protozoa. Screenwriters Ari Handel and Mark Heyman are in talks to adapt.

So what’s it about? Read more below. Read More »

Here’s a pretty minor update on Darren Aronofsky‘s Noah. Just as we get word that The Wolverine, the film Aronofsky was previously set to direct, will shoot in Australia rather than Japan, we’ve now got basic details on the locations for Noah. The movie, which tells a version of the biblical tale of Noah and his mission to preserve humans and animals against God’s cleansing flood, will have location work done in Iceland and New York, with studio work likely done in the latter.

We’ve seen Iceland used as a location recently for projects like Prometheus, Batman Begins and Game of Thrones, and the country is certainly wonderful for providing a landscape that looks beautiful and slightly alien. Cross reference some of the photos linked there with the art seen in the graphic novel version of Noah and you’ll quickly see the appeal of Iceland as a location.

A press release went out yesterday announcing the finalization of deals to have Russell Crowe star in the film, but there is no other cast mentioned. Liam Neeson has been rumored for months, but we’ll have to wait for more casting news. You can read that press release below. Read More »

This is more of a minor status update than a giant news break, but for those who like to see Darren Aronofsky making movies rather than videos and commercials, it is good news. Deals are done for the director, who last released Black Swan in 2010, to make his epic take on the Biblical story of Noah, with Russell Crowe in the lead role. Read More »

Briefly: After years and years of thinking about the movie and prepping ideas for the project, Darren Aronofsky is finally going to get his chance to re-tell the story of Noah, the Ark and the Flood. Aronofsky is now in talks with Russell Crowe to have the actor play the title role in Noah when the film shoots starting in July. Read More »

In February, as Darren Aronofsky was trying to find a studio to back his epic-scale take on the story of Noah, we learned that he and Ari Handel had begun working with Canadian artist Nico Henrichon to make a graphic novel version of the script. (A similar tactic was used by Aronofsky for The Fountain, in between the first unsuccessful incarnation of that film and the version that was eventually shot.)

Noah, the film, landed at Paramount not long ago. And the first volume of the graphic novel version, Noe, is already in stores in Europe. Check out the first few pages and some other info below.

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Darren Aronofsky’s Noah

In this week’s three part interview with Darren Aronofsky, the filmmaker shared some new details on his long in the works religious epic Noah. I’ve been getting e-mails all morning from /Film readers wanting to know more, so I thought I’d bring you a history of everything we know about the project.

The idea originated ten years ago, even before Pi, when Aronofsky saw a museum exhibit. But the director’s fascination with Noah’s Ark began when he was only 13-years-old. Aronofsky won a United Nations poetry competition at his Manhattan Beach, Brooklyn school. The poem was about the end of the world as seen through the eyes of Noah. When Brad Pitt abruptly left The Fountain just weeks before principal photography, Aronofsky took some time off and began to develop a variety of different projects, one of them being the Noah screenplay. Aronofsky told The Guardian in April 2007:

“Noah was the first person to plant vineyards and drink wine and get drunk. It’s there in the Bible – it was one of the first things he did when he reached land. There was some real survivor’s guilt going on there. He’s a dark, complicated character. The tragedies we perform on each other are so well reported. Quite clearly, the planet is dying, and we are dying on it.”

And today we learned in the third part of our exclusive interview, that Darren wrote the screenplay with Fountain co-writer and college friend Ari Handel.

“We have an amazing screenplay,” Aronofsky told /Film. “It’s a great script and it’s HUGE. And we’re starting to feel out talent. And then we’ll probably try and set it up.”

Big and Huge are the words Aronofsky uses to describe the non-traditional English language biblical epic. But what gets me excited is Aronofsky’s passionate pitch:

“It’s the end of the world and it’s the second most famous ship after the Titanic. So I’m not sure why any studio won’t want to make it,” said Aronofsky. “I think it’s really timely because it’s about environmental apocalypse which is the biggest theme, for me, right now for what’s going on on this planet. So I think it’s got these big, big themes that connect with us. Noah was the first environmentalist. He’s a really interesting character. Hopefully they’ll let me make it.”

Is anyone in Hollywood reading this? Someone needs to get this into development ASAP.

sources: /Film, Guardian, CHUD