×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Cannes: Natalie Portman to Star in French Ghost Story ‘Planetarium’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Natalie Portman and Lily Rose Depp, the daughter of actor Johnny Depp, will play spiritualist sisters in “Planetarium,” a 1930s-set drama to be directed by French helmer Rebecca Zlotowski (“Grand Central”), Variety has learned.

“Planetarium” will mark Portman’s first time working with a French director since her role in Luc Besson’s “Leon” in 1994. She’s been beefing up on her French to prepare for the role.

Although plot details are kept under wraps, Zlotowski told Variety that the film follows the journey of sisters who are believed to possess the supernatural ability to connect with ghosts. They cross paths with a visionary French producer while performing in Paris.

The political context of “Planetarium” will have a modern resonance with the current crisis and rise of extremism in Europe. The character of the producer is freely inspired by Jewish producer Bernard Natan, one of the biggest French film industry figures of the ’20s and ’30s, who eventually died in Auschwitz.

The film is co-written by Zlotowski and Robin Campillo, who previously penned “The Returned,” the feature film that inspired Canal Plus’ supernatural drama series.

Frederic Jouve’s Les Films Velvet is producing; Ad Vitam will distribute in France. Principal photography will begin in Paris in September for an expected delivery in May 2016.

Repped by Gregoire Melin’s Kinology, “Planetarium” is Zlotowski’s third directorial effort, following Cannes’ 2013 Un Certain Regard player “Grand Central,” and 2010’s “Belle Epine,” which gave Lea Seydoux her first big role and world premiered at Cannes’ Critics’ Week, where it won the Louis Delluc prize for best first film.

Portman will be in Cannes this year with her directorial debut, “A Tale of Love and Darkness.”

More Film

  • Robert Smith, Longtime Executive at DuArt

    Robert Smith, Longtime Executive at New York's DuArt Film Labs, Dies at 88

    Robert Smith, a longtime executive with New York’s DuArt Film Labs, died Jan. 11 in Montvale, N.J. He was 88. Smith spent some 62 years with DuArt, the film processing and post-production facility founded in 1922 in the penthouse of an automobile garage in Midtown. Smith rose to president of DuArt before retiring in 2015. [...]

  • Bird Box

    Los Angeles On-Location Feature Filming Surges 12.2% in 2018

    On-location feature filming in Greater Los Angeles expanded impressively in 2018, gaining 12.2% to 4,377 shooting days, according to FilmL.A. Production activity for feature films rose 15.5% to 1,078 shooting days during the fourth quarter, with 146 days coming from projects receiving California tax credits — including Netflix’s “Bird Box,” Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a [...]

  • 'Ghostbusters': First Look at Jason Reitman's

    Watch the First Teaser for Jason Reitman's 'Ghostbusters' Sequel

    If there’s something strange in your neighborhood, it’s time to watch a teaser for Jason Reitman’s “Ghostbusters” forthcoming film. Sony Pictures released a first look at the upcoming movie, a sequel to the 1984 classic. The footage shows a glimpse of the memorable station wagon Ecto-1. The studio announced on Tuesday that the wheels are [...]

  • Anne Hathaway

    Anne Hathaway to Star in Robert Zemeckis' 'The Witches' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Anne Hathaway has closed a deal to star as the Grand High Witch in Robert Zemeckis and Warner Bros.’ “The Witches” adaptation. Variety first reported that Hathaway was holding the offer for both that and “Sesame Street,” and at the time, scheduling for both films were holding up dealmaking. With those issues settled, Hathaway is [...]

  • Film Ratings Overhauled in the U.K.,

    Film Ratings Overhauled in the U.K. With Tougher Restrictions on Sexual Content

    The body that oversees film ratings in the U.K. is tightening its age restrictions and giving movies with certain types of sexual content older age ratings. The British Board of Film Classification said the changes were in response to public demand after a consultation that took in the views of over 10,000 people in the [...]

  • The Hunchback of Notre Dame

    'Hunchback of Notre Dame' Live-Action Reboot in the Works at Disney

    Disney is in early development on a live-action “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” movie, based on Disney’s animated film and Victor Hugo’s 1831 novel “Notre-Dame de Paris.” Playwright David Henry Hwang is attached to write the script, with Mandeville Films and Josh Gad set to produce. Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz will pen the music. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content