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Natalie Portman Boards ‘Vox Lux’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Oscar winner Natalie Portman will officially join Jude Law in “Vox Lux,” Variety has learned. In addition, Bold Films, which is backing the project and helped develop the film, has joined forces with Andrew Lauren Productions to finance and produce the picture. “Vox Lux” is written and directed by Brady Corbet, an accomplished actors whose credits include “Mysterious Skin” and “Funny Games. He made his feature film directorial debut in 2015 with “The Childhood of a Leader,” a kind of portrait of a fascist as a very young man that won two awards at the Venice Film Festival.

Rooney Mara had originally been attached to the film and when she dropped out Portman was circling the project. However, her involvement had been in question after producer Bold Films delayed shooting on the project as part of a company-wide restructuring that resulted in staff layoffs. Bold had been bruised by the box office failure of the Jake Gyllenhaal film “Stronger.” Its prospects are brighter now, because it scored a domestic deal for “Colette,” a historical drama with Keira Knightley, that premiered to acclaim at the Sundance Film Festival. “Colette” will be released by Bleecker Street and 30West.

According to the log line: “Vox Lux” follows the rise of ‘Celeste’ from the ashes of a major national tragedy to pop superstardom. The film spans 15 years and traces important cultural moments through the singer’s eye, starting in 1999 and ending in the present day. Principal photography will begin on Feb. 1 in New York City.

The soundtrack will feature all original songs written by Grammy-nominated artist Sia. ALP’s Andrew Lauren and D.J. Gugenheim will be producing along with Killer Films’ Christine Vachon and David Hinojosa, Bold Films’ Michel Litvak, Gary Michael Walters, David Litvak and Svetlana Metkina and Brian Young from Three Six Zero Entertainment. Portman and Law will executive produce along with Sia. Sierra/Affinity is representing the international rights and will be selling the project in Berlin.  Endeavor Content and CAA will represent the US rights.

“We are thrilled to welcome such a stellar actress as Natalie Portman to the cast,” said Bold Films Chairman Michel Litvak.

“I was mesmerized by the scope and vision of Brady’s first film, ‘Childhood of a Leader,’ said ALP principal Andrew Lauren. “I don’t think Brady is of this century. His work is more reminiscent of a Sergei Eisenstein or Fritz Lang. When you sit with him, his encyclopedic knowledge of film is intimidating and his passion is infectious,”

“Andrew Lauren and ALP are an outstanding strategic partner, and we are excited to work with them,” said Bold Films CEO Gary Michael Walters.

Portman will next star in Alex Garland’s “Annihilation,” a twisty sci-fi thriller which Paramount Pictures is releasing next month. She will also be seen in Xavier Dolan’s upcoming film “The Death and Life of John F. Donovan.” Portman’s credits include “Black Swan,” “Thor,” and “Closer.”

ALP is currently in post-production on “High Life,” the English-language debut of French filmmaker Claire Denis. It stars Robert Pattinson, Juliette Binoche, and André Benjamin.

Portman is represented by CAA and George Sheanshang. ALP is represented by attorney David Boyle.

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