Natalie Portman apparently wants to bust out some skills beyond acting if word of her shopping a script around is true. If she is, then she’s in a great place to do so right now. She’s got acclaim, accolades, and industry heat for days due to her intense and something-nearing-brilliant turn in Aronofsky’s Black Swan (review here), and already has three very diverse follow ups in the can- a period stoner comedy, a romantic sex comedy, and a blockbuster action film. Once she’s coasting on her prestige season glory –whether it involves an Oscar win (possibly), an Oscar nod (definitely), or lots of smaller awards (shit-tons)– she’ll be staying present in cinemas with different roles to keep her image fresh. Along with a well-judged slate of projects, she’s got the kind of industry attention that has her rumored and on the short-list for every project in town with a worthwhile female part. Portman’s been a contender for years, but now she’s becoming shorthand for “strong young actress.”
Portman has wasted no time using that clout to take meetings with studios concerning her screenplay BYO, which is described as a “female-themed Superbad.” While it does revolves around two young women who throw a party with the intentions of bringing dates and changing their love-life bad luck, I have a feeling it’s nothing like a “female-themed Superbad.”
The LA Times has the story and they claim Anne Hathaway is interested in the role that Portman doesn’t fill. Words like “racy” and “ribald” are thrown around, though exactly how aggressively raunchy the script gets is anybody’s guess. Anne Hathaway has recently shown a willingness to be naked and be naked often in Love and Other Drugs, but it’s in service of a very adult approach to a genuinely emotional story. Portman herself has broken out of her young-woman mold too, with the darkly sexual content of Black Swan, but both of these ladies tend to keep it classy so I doubt we’re getting some shitty American Pie retread here.
No studio has yet bitten at the screenplay, and no mention is made of directorial prospects, so the overall picture of the project is pretty scant. We’ll see if it gets picked up or they go for the “make it our damn selves” followed by the festival circuit “buy me! buy me!” routine.